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Kuroda settles down, leads Yanks past Astros


May 01. 2013 12:11AM


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NEW YORK — Hiroki Kuroda settled in after a rocky start to pitch four-hit ball through seven innings, Travis Hafner had three RBI singles and the New York Yankees used small ball to beat the Houston Astros 7-4 on Tuesday night.


Jayson Nix had an RBI infield single and Brennan Boesch a run-scoring fielder’s choice for the banged-up Bronx Bombers, who bounced back from a 9-1 loss to the Astros on Monday. New York took advantage of Phil Humber’s four wild pitches and a couple of close calls at first base to score its first four runs without an extra-base hit.


Kuroda (4-1) threw 67 pitches in the first three innings, putting at least two runners on in each one. But just as he did in his previous start, he got into a better rhythm and retired 14 of his final 15 batters.


Kuroda won his fourth straight decision, matching a career best. He walked four for the second time this season.


Yankees reliever David Robertson gave up a two-run homer to Chris Carter in the eighth to make it 4-2. But Lyle Overbay homered off Brad Peacock, recently demoted to the bullpen, to open the bottom half and Chris Stewart had an RBI single to restore the four-run lead. Hafner made it 7-2 with another single.


Shawn Kelley gave up a two-run double to Jose Altuve in the ninth and walked off the mound to many in the sparse crowd chanting “We want Mo!” Joe Girardi obliged and Mariano Rivera got one out for his 10 straight save to start the season.


Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 7


TORONTO — Edwin Encarnacion hit an upper-deck homer in the fifth inning, then connected for a go-ahead home run in the seventh that sent the Toronto Blue Jays over the Boston Red Sox.


The Blue Jays ended a four-game losing streak and avoided the first 18-loss April in club history.


David Ortiz homered, doubled and drove in four runs for Boston.


Tigers 6, Twins 1


DETROIT — Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder each hit a two-run homer, Justin Verlander pitched seven strong innings and the Detroit Tigers beat the Minnesota Twins for their fifth straight victory.


Verlander (3-2) allowed a run and five hits. He struck out eight and walked two.


Royals 8, Rays 2


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — James Shields made a stellar first start against his former team, and Mike Moustakas hit a two-run homer to spur the Kansas City Royals to a victory.


Shields (2-2) allowed a two-run homer to Matt Joyce in the first inning, but only allowed three more hits over the next six.


Rangers 10, White Sox 6


ARLINGTON, Texas — Yu Darvish overcame a shaky start for his fifth victory in April and the Texas Rangers backed him with plenty of big hits in a win over the Chicago White Sox.


Darvish (5-1) struck out nine in six innings.




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