In his Yankee debut, right-hander Hiroki Kuroda could not escape the sixth inning, allowing six runs, two of which were unearned thanks to a first inning error by Eduardo Nunez. He allowed eight hits, four for extra bases. Normally a consistent strike thrower, he walked four and only threw 58% of his pitches for strikes.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Yankees spent the whole night stubbornly hitting right into the teeth of Maddon’s shifts, most notably with Teixeira scorching the ball to the second baseman playing in the outfield, resulting in Cano getting doubled off at second. David Price was solid, going 6.1 innings, allowing just two runs on five hits. He walked four but struck out five.
Joe Girardi made yet another questionable move, allowing left-hander Clay Rapada to pitch to Longoria after walking Pena. Longo made him pay, ending up with a double once the umpires overturned a home run due to fan interference. The Rays still ended up tacking on those two runs and ended up with an 8-2 lead.
Girardi’s and Nunez’s mistakes would come back to bite them in the end yet again, as the Yankees rallied for four runs in the night, three on a home run by Swisher. They would bring the tying run to the plate, but A-Rod grounded out on the first pitch he saw from Fernando Rodney to end the game.
Yankees look to avoid the sweep on Easter Sunday on YES and TBS at 1:40 PM. Phil Hughes faces off the 2011 Rookie of the Year Jeremy Hellickson. It is likely that Girardi will use the same lineup as Friday’s game