Angels batter Hiroki Kuroda in 13-1 win over Yankees
With Ivan Nova lost for the season and Michael Pineda serving a 10-game suspension, the Yankees' starting pitching suddenly looks suspect once you get past Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia. That anxiety was compounded Friday night when usually reliable Hiroki Kuroda was pounded for eight runs by the heavy-hitting Angels in a 13-1 loss at Yankee Stadium.
Kuroda fell to 2-2 after giving up eight runs (six earned) and 10 hits, including two home runs, in 42/3 innings. He fell one out short of extending his streak of 26 consecutive starts with at least a full five innings.
The Angels hit four home runs overall, including the 501st of Albert Pujols' career. That gave them a club-record and MLB-leading 35 homers in March and April. They wound up with 16 hits, eight for extra bases.
Angst over the Yankees' pitching woes continues Saturday as Vidal Nuño (0-0, 6.75 ERA) steps into Nova's spot in the rotation.
Asked if he is worried about Kuroda, manager Joe Girardi said, "Each guy is really important. Each guy has to pull his weight . . . He'll figure it out and find his stuff. He's been up and down this year, but he'll find it."
One night after scoring 14 runs in Boston, the Yankees flailed badly against lefthander C.J. Wilson (3-2), who allowed four hits and one run in six innings. The Yankees lead the American League in hitting lefties, but Wilson is 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA against them since joining the Angels in 2012.
Kuroda was shaky from the outset, yielding two-out singles to Pujols and Raul Ibañez in the first before escaping. Angels hits kept coming in the second as Ian Stewart reached on an infield single, went to third on a single by Erick Aybar (four hits, three RBIs) and scored on a double by Hank Conger (three hits, three RBIs). Colin Cowgill's safety- squeeze bunt and J.B. Shuck's groundout made it 3-0.
"The key moment was in the second inning against Conger," Kuroda said through an interpreter. "My command was bad. The sinker wasn't good as well as the slider. I got behind in the count and got hit."
Howie Kendrick singled with two outs in the third inning before Stewart sent a towering drive to center that bounced off the top of the wall beyond a leaping Jacoby Ellsbury for a home run and a 5-0 lead.
Pujols led off the fifth by crushing a 1-and-1 splitter deep into the leftfield seats for his 501st career homer and a 6-0 lead.
Kendrick followed with a one-out double and scored when Carlos Beltran tracked Aybar's fly ball into the rightfield corner and dropped it against the wall for an error that increased the Angels' lead to 7-0. That was it for Kuroda.
"Right now, my pitches are inconsistent," he said. "I need to make an adjustment. The biggest thing is to improve the quality of my breaking ball."
Bruce Billings relieved and gave up a run-scoring double by Conger, with the run charged to Kuroda. That made it 8-0 after five. Although Billings gave Girardi the length he needed to save the bullpen, he surrendered a three-run homer to Aybar and a solo shot by Cowgill in the seventh for a 12-1 lead.
Notes & quotes: Derek Jeter singled and scored the Yankees' run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Alfonso Soriano . . . David Phelps will get Michael Pineda's scheduled start Wednesday against Seattle.Pineda is allowed to take part in pregame activities during his 10-game suspension but must leave the clubhouse before the game.