Kuroda pitches 2-hitter, Yankees beat Rangers 3-0
NEW YORK (AP) — Hiroki Kuroda pitched a two-hitter and the New York Yankees got consecutive homers from Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira in a 3-0 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.
Kuroda held Texas hitless until Elvis Andrus' infield single leading off the seventh, outpitching All-Star lefty Matt Harrison in a crisp duel at Yankee Stadium. The right-hander walked two and struck out five in his fourth career shutout and second this season.
The surging Yankees won for the sixth time in seven games. They've taken the first two in a four-game set between the AL's top two teams.
Derek Jeter singled off Harrison (13-7) with one out in the seventh to start the New York rally. Alexi Ogando came in to face Swisher, who cracked a go-ahead grand slam off Ryan Dempster in the series opener Monday night.
This time, Swisher fought his way back from an 0-2 count and drove a payoff pitch to the back of the Yankees' bullpen for his 16th home run. The bubbly switch-hitter rounded the bases with a big grin, and New York was on its way to a seventh straight victory over the Rangers at home.
Teixeira then lined a shot into the right-field stands for his 23rd home run.
Slowed by a lack of run support lately, Kuroda (11-8) won for the first time in four starts. He gave up a clean single in the eighth to Michael Young, who was immediately erased on David Murphy's double-play grounder.
Kuroda set down the Rangers in order in the ninth to finish a gem that took 2 hours, 35 minutes. He threw 74 of 109 pitches for strikes, giving New York's rotation yet another boost with ace CC Sabathia and veteran Andy Pettitte currently on the disabled list.
Featuring a sharp slider, Kuroda worked around two walks in the first three innings and handcuffed the hard-hitting Rangers, who began the night leading the majors in batting average (.278) and runs (580).
A no-hit buzz began to build in the sixth, when second baseman Robinson Cano made a backhand play on Mitch Moreland's one-out grounder. Kuroda then struck out Ian Kinsler and had retired 10 straight heading into the seventh.
Andrus led off with a grounder toward the middle, forcing shortstop Jayson Nix to make a diving stop near the edge of the outfield grass. With little chance to get the speedy runner, Nix struggled to get the ball out of his glove and tried a desperation throw that was late and wide.
Base hit, no question, and Kuroda received a warm round of applause from the crowd of 44,533. Andrus was stranded at third when Nelson Cruz grounded out.
NOTES: With slugger Mike Napoli on the disabled list, Texas signed C Koyie Hill to a minor league contract. He was assigned to Triple-A Round Rock. ... Luis Martinez made his first start behind the plate for the Rangers. He was recalled from the minors Saturday went Napoli went on the DL. ... RHP Koji Uehara is scheduled to throw the first of two batting practice sessions Wednesday. If all goes well, he'll have two rehab outings at Round Rock and then could be activated Aug. 26, manager Ron Washington said. Uehara has been on the DL since June 10 with a right lat muscle strain. ... Washington was elected to the Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame along with Teixeira and Yankees RHP Derek Lowe. ... Jeter extended his hitting streak to 10 games. He started at DH, with Nix at shortstop. ... New York has hit back-to-back homers nine times this season. ... The Yankees have 11 no-hitters, including Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers. The most recent one was David Cone's perfect game against the Montreal Expos on July 18, 1999. ... Swisher had been 0 for 6 against Ogando, including the postseason.