Yankees Game 76: Ichiro walks off in Darvish-Kuroda meeting

Ichiro Suzuki hitting the fourth and final home run of the night, the walk-off one. (Photo by Jason Szenes/Getty Images)

Texas Rangers 3 — New York Yankees 4

 

Four home runs, with Ichiro Suzuki’s being of the walk-off variety in tonight’s 4-3 win over the Texas Rangers.

In a battle made from the Land of the Rising Sun, Rangers’ pitcher Yu Darvish went head-to-head with Yankees’ pitcher Hiroki Kuroda. But the real theme of the night can be said in two words: home run.

The Yankees looked to deliver the first blow to the Rangers and Darvish in the first inning. After Gardner grounded out, Ichiro Suzuki hit a typical bloop single in front of the left fielder. Robinson Cano would single to right field and Travis Hafner would hit to the left side to load the bases and put up a big opportunity. Lyle Overbay would be caught looking at a slider and Zoilo Almonte would ground out to end the threat to get some runs against the tough Darvish.

The first run on the scoreboard came from an unlikely source. The #9 hitter of the Rangers’ lineup, Leonys Martin takes Kuroda deep for a solo home run. The Rangers would get their second run on a slow rolling ground out at second base.

In the fourth inning, the Yankees would get on the scoreboard. Travis Hafner would hit his 12th home run of the season with a high fly ball to right center field. Additionally in this inning, Zoilo Almonte would get his first career stolen base but would not come around to score.

Leonys Martin would strike again, his second home run of the game came in the fifth inning and the Rangers had a 3-1 lead. The theme of home runs would continue. Brett Gardner would tie his single-season best with his seventh home run of the season to lead off the sixth inning. Jayson Nix would also home run in the sixth inning and the game was tied.

Following Martin’s second home run, Kuroda would settle down and get the next eight in a row, four on ground outs and four on strikeouts. The next meeting between Kuroda and Martin would not take place in the seventh inning as Kuroda was pulled from the game for Boone Logan, who would strikeout Martin and keep the game tied.

Yu Darvish went 5.1 innings and allowed three runs on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts. He surrendered three home runs. Hiroki Kuroda went 6.2 innings and allowed three runs (one unearned) on five hits with one walk and six strikeouts. Kuroda allowed two home runs but set down eight in a row before exiting the game.

David Robertson and Mariano Rivera would get the eighth and ninth, respectively. They each gave up a hit but did not allow a run and held the game tied at three.

In the bottom half of the ninth, Chris Stewart would lead off the inning with a four-pitch walk. For the Rangers, this was reliever Tanner Scheppers second inning of work. The Rangers would get a force out at second on an attempt at turning a double play but Gardner is too fast on the back end of it. Brett Gardner would be erased when he was caught stealing second. But on a 1-2 pitch, Ichiro Suzuki would take Scheppers deep for his fourth home run of the season but the first walk-off win for the Yankees.

The Yankees turned back to the home run happy days and scored all of their runs on home runs tonight. Ichiro Suzuki’s walk-off home run was his second career walk-off home run. Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth before Ichiro’s home run and got his first win of the season.

 

Win – Mariano Rivera (1-0)

Loss – Tanner Scheppers (5-1)

 

Notables

Rangers

*Leonys Martin – 2 for 3, 2 R, 2 Solo Home Runs (5) in the 3rd & 5th, 2 RBI (15)

*Mitch Moreland – 1 for 4, RBI (31)

Yankees

*Ichiro Suzuki – 2 for 5, R, Walk-off Home Run (4) in the 9th, RBI (16)

*Travis Hafner – 2 for 4, R, Solo Home Run (12) in the 4th, RBI (34)

 

Current Yankees Record: 42-34

 

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Yankees fan for most of my life. Has always had a love for baseball, whether it be playing it, watching it, reading about it, or writing about it. Tweet me: @adakannayr