With Jeter looking on, Cano leads Yanks over Jays


Associated Press

NEW YORK — Nothing was working for Hiroki Kuroda in the first two innings. By the time the right-hander was lifted after the sixth, he really had impressed his manager.

With Derek Jeter making his first visit to the Bronx this season, Kuroda gave a gutsy performance, Robinson Cano hit a three-run homer and the New York Yankees used a flurry of early long balls to outslug the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 Thursday night.

“This might be his best performance of the year,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “It says a lot because he didn’t have a whole lot.”

Vernon Wells homered again against Mark Buehrle, and Francisco Cervelli also connected for New York, which overcame a 3-0 deficit to beat the Blue Jays for the third time within a week. The Yankees took two of three in a weekend series in Toronto.

Kuroda (3-1) settled after giving up homers to Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie in the first two innings, yielding six hits and three runs before getting the third out of the second. With a little help from Cervelli, his catcher, Kuroda didn’t allow a hit after Munenori Kawasaki doubled with two outs in the second.

“All I thought about was, ‘Just hang in there,’” Kuroda said through a translator.

Cervelli knew Kuroda was struggling, yet he would never let on. His job was to figure out a way to guide his pitcher through the struggles.

“I think he started to take a little more time and throw his pitches down,” Cervelli said. “I started to call more breaking balls.”

Jeter, out until probably mid-July because of a broken ankle, watched a no-frills New York lineup improve to 12-9. The Yankees captain said he was meeting some of his teammates for the first time.

Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson each pitched a scoreless inning, and Mariano Rivera was perfect in the ninth for his seventh save in seven chances.

The game drew 31,445, the fourth time this month a record low has been set at new Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009.

Toronto manager John Gibbons was ejected in the seventh inning after umpires overturned a call at first, giving Ben Francisco an infield hit.

With a runner on first, Francisco hit a soft grounder to third base. Lawrie made a low throw that first base umpire Chad Fairchild initially said Encarncion made a clean scoop and Francisco was out.

But crew chief Jeff Kellogg, who was the second base umpire, felt he had a better view of the play than Fairchild. He called the group together and overturned the call. TV replays showed Encarnacion trapped the ball and didn’t have possession.

“My sense was that the ball was resting on the ground and his glove was around the top of the ball,” Kellogg said.

Gibbons argued with Kellogg, tossed his hat and was ejected for the 22nd time in his career.

“I asked him how could they overturn it if there is no appeal by the other side? I thought the rule was that there had to be an appeal by the other side for them to get together,” Gibbons said. “That was my interpretation of the rule. They are a good umpiring crew, they’re trying to get it right.”

Gibbons added: “You kind of wish they had done that when Galarraga was pitching the perfect game.”

He was referring to Detroit’s Armando Galarraga, who lost a perfect game in 2010 on a blown call at first base with two outs in the ninth inning.

It was Gibbons’ second ejection in two games for the disappointing Blue Jays, off to a 9-14 start after bulking up their roster during the offseason.

The left-handed Buehrle, pitching against Kuroda for the second time within a week, struggled against a team that came in hitting .199 against lefties, yielding five runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings. Buehrle (1-1) has lost seven straight decisions against the Yankees dating to 2004 with the Chicago White Sox and is 1-9 in 14 starts against New York.

Encarnacion hit a two-run drive in the first, and Lawrie led off the second with a fly that landed in the second row of the short porch in right field for his first home run this season.

Wells, a former Toronto star who was among the players New York acquired in March, homered leading off the second with a drive just beyond the 408-ft mark in center field. Wells is 24 for 50 (.480) against Buehrle.

“He’s got new life going over there,” Gibbons said of Wells. “He’s a very intelligent guy and you know he’s motivated.”

Jayson Nix and Brett Gardner reached on singles, and Cano sent a long drive to right-center for his seventh homer of the year.

“He’s fun to watch,” Wells said of Cano.

Cervelli homered to deep left in the fourth.

YANKEES 5, BLUE JAYS 3

NEW YORK — With Derek Jeter making his first visit to the Bronx this season, Robinson Cano hit a three-run homer and New York used a flurry of early long balls to outslug Toronto.

Vernon Wells homered again against Mark Buehrle, and Francisco Cervelli also connected for New York in its third win over the Blue Jays in a week. The Yankees took two of three in a weekend series in Toronto.

Jeter, out until probably mid-July because of a broken ankle, watched a no-frills New York lineup improve to 12-9. The Yankees captain said he was meeting some of his teammates for the first time.

RANGERS 2, TWINS 1

MINNEAPOLIS — Nick Tepesch pitched six strong innings for his second win, and Elvis Andrus and Nelson Cruz each drove in runs to lead Texas to its sixth victory in seven games.

Tepesch (2-1) allowed five hits in 6 2-3 innings. He shut the Twins out through six before Josh Willingham homered in the seventh inning to make it 2-1. The rookie right-hander had allowed only two baserunners up to that point and showed no lingering effects from taking a liner off his right forearm in his previous start against Seattle last weekend.

Minnesota starter Vance Worley (0-3) allowed two runs and six hits in five innings.

WHITE SOX 5, RAYS 2

CHICAGO — Chris Sale overcame a shaky first inning to combine with two relievers on a five-hitter and Adam Dunn homered to lead Chicago over Tampa Bay.

Desmond Jennings walked leading off the game and scored on Evan Longoria’s single, but Sale (2-2) settled down and won for the first time since opening day. He allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings, struck out seven and worked around four walks.

Sale has 31 strikeouts in five appearances against the Rays. He is 11-3 with a 2.26 ERA at home in 17 starts dating to the beginning of the 2012 season.

Matt Lindstrom worked a scoreless eighth, then Addison Reed pitched the ninth for his seventh save in seven chances for Chicago.

ROYALS 8, TIGERS 3, 10 INNINGS

DETROIT — Alex Gordon’s grand slam highlighted a five-run 10th inning for the Kansas City, which rallied against Detroit’s bullpen after Justin Verlander left with a thumb injury.

George Kottaras put the Royals ahead 4-3 with a bases-loaded walk off Phil Coke (0-3). Darin Downs came on for Detroit after that, but Gordon broke the game open one out later with his homer over the center-field wall.

Verlander is day-to-day with what the team said was cracked skin on his throwing thumb. The right-hander allowed two runs — one earned — in seven innings and left with a 3-2 lead. Bruce Rondon gave up the tying run in the eighth in his major league debut.

Tim Collins (1-0) got the win.

ORIOLES 10, ATHLETICS 2

OAKLAND, Calif. — Nate McLouth reached base four times and scored twice, Nick Markakis drove in two runs, and the Orioles opened their longest road trip of the season by routing the Athletics.

Chris Davis homered and had two RBIs, Adam Jones added three hits and Jason Hammel (3-1) pitched six strong innings to help the Orioles win for just the fourth time in their last 20 games at the Coliseum.

Baltimore had a season-high 15 hits, with all nine starters getting at least one. Six players drove in runs.

Josh Donaldson doubled in two runs for the Athletics, who have dropped six of seven.

Jarrod Parker (0-4) took the loss.

MARINERS 6, ANGELS 0

SEATTLE — Carlos Peguero hit a mammoth homer in his first at-bat of the season and Kyle Seager had a two-run shot to help the Mariners beat the Angels.

Peguero hit his solo shot on a 3-2 pitch from Garrett Richards (1-1) in the third, 451 feet to deep center. The only two longer home runs in the stadium’s 12½-year history were 462 feet by San Francisco’s Barry Bonds (June 16, 2006) and 460 feet by Mariners’ Raul Ibanez (June 20, 2007).

It’s believed Peguero is the second player ever to hit the centerfield batter’s eye. The other was Mike Napoli in 2008.

Rookie Brandon Maurer (2-3) went 6 1-3 innings to pick up the victory. He allowed seven hits, struck out six and walked one.

Cubs edge Marlins

MIAMI — Luis Valbuena hit a tie-breaking solo home run in the ninth inning to lift the Chicago Cubs to a 4-3 win over the Miami Marlins on Thursday night.

The Marlins fell to 5-17, matching the worst start in franchise history through 22 games according to STATS. Miami had the same record in 1995.

Shawn Camp (1-1) pitched the eighth and Carlos Marmol got the final three outs for his second save in four opportunities.

Nate Schierholtz doubled and homered for Chicago, which scored the final three runs of the game.

Valbuena put the first pitch he saw from Steve Cishek (1-3) into the Marlins bullpen in right-center field with two outs in the ninth breaking a 3-all tie.

NATIONALS 8, REDS 1

WASHINGTON — Gio Gonzalez allowed just one hit in eight innings, and Denard Span and Danny Espinosa drove in three runs each to lead Washington to the victory over Cincinnati.

Gonzalez, who allowed 12 runs in his previous nine innings, retired the first 11 Reds batters before Joey Votto homered with two outs in the fourth. He struck out seven and walked two.

By the time Votto homered, Gonzalez (2-1) had a 6-0 lead.

Washington had lost nine of 12 and their previous six home games. Cincinnati lost for the sixth time in its last seven road games.

DODGERS 3, METS 2

NEW YORK — Andre Ethier hit a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning and Los Angeles, boosted by a sharp outing from Hyun-Jin Ryu, defeated New York.

After Ryu and Mets starter Jeremy Hefner each threw seven impressive innings and left with the score 1-all, the Dodgers won a game decided by the bullpens.

Nick Punto opened the ninth with a double off Scott Rice (1-1) and moved to third on a grounder to the right side by Adrian Gonzalez. After an intentional walk to Matt Kemp, Mets manager Terry Collins visited the left-handed Rice on the mound.

The left-handed Ethier put the Dodgers ahead with his hit, and Juan Uribe drove in another run with an infield single for a 3-1 lead.

PIRATES 6, PHILLIES 4

PHILADELPHIA — Gaby Sanchez homered and drove in three runs, and Garrett Jones hit a go-ahead, two-run double to lead Pittsburgh to a comeback victory over struggling Philadelphia.

Justin Wilson (2-0) pitched two hitless innings in relief of James McDonald, and the Pirates won their third straight and 10th in 13 games. Taking the four-game series gave Pittsburgh its first series win in Philadelphia since April 4-6, 2003, at now demolished Veterans Stadium.

Ryan Howard went 2 for 4 with a double and two RBIs and Domonic Brown had a pair of doubles with an RBI for the Phillies, who have lost three straight and eight of 11.

DIAMONDBACKS 3, ROCKIES 2

PHOENIX — Paul Goldschmidt’s two-run home run in the fourth inning powered the Diamondbacks to a win over the Rockies.

Goldschmidt’s fifth homer of the year followed a single by Martin Prado and snapped a 1-1 tie. Goldschmidt’s towering drive down the left field hit near the top of the foul pole, and increased his team-leading RBI total to 18.

Trevor Cahill (1-3) earned his first win of the season, giving up an unearned run in five innings.

Jorge Del La Rosa (2-2) allowed three runs in six innings for Colorado..

 

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