In a scenario that must have been all too familiar, Hiroki Kuroda pitched a game in which the Dodgers didn't score very many runs. Only on Wednesday he came out on the wining end, as the Yankees captured Game 1 of the doubleheader with a 6-4.
Ichiro Suzuki homered and drove in two more insurance runs in a wild seventh inning that gave the Yankees a 6-2 lead. Ronald Belisario entered that inning with one out and runners on first and second base in a 3-2 game, and he got Vernon Wells to pop one up in front of the mound. Belisario tried to intentionally drop the ball, hoping to steal a double play, but just about everything went wrong (GIF courtesy of Marc Normandin at SB Nation):
For a while it looked like the Dodgers' only rally was in the fourth inning, when Adrian Gonzalez singled and Hanley Ramirez doubled to open the frame. But instead of cashing in the tying runs in scoring position, Andre Ethier's line drive found a spot in the pocket of Kuroda's glove, and for some reason Gonzalez strayed too far off third base and was caught for a double play. One ground out later and a prime scoring opportunity became another scoreless inning for Kuroda.
Hyun-jin Ryu was okay, allowing three runs in six innings for his fifth straight quality start and 11th in 14 outings this season. He was victimized by a two-run double by Lyle Overbay in the second inning and a home run by Ichiro in the sixth inning.
The Dodgers did rally for two runs in the seventh inning to pull within one run, then two more in the eighth to pull within two runs. But Mariano Rivera proved an insurmountable force to overcome in the ninth, ending with a flourish by striking out Yasiel Puig looking.
- Ramirez went 4-for-4 as the designated hitter on Wednesday with a double and a home run. He has three multi-hit games this season in his eight starts.
- Puig went 2-for-5 with a double, his ninth multi-hit game in 14 major league games. The double was his first extra-base hit since June 9, a span of seven games. Puig is hitting .472/.491/.755.
- Skip Schumaker made two errors at second base.
- Rivera extended his major league record with his 633rd career save. At age 43, he has a 1.73 ERA with 26 strikeouts in 26 innings.
Game 1 particulars
Home runs: Hanley Ramirez (2), Ichiro Suzuki (3)
WP - Hiroki Kuroda (7-5): 6⅔ IP, 8 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
LP - Hyun-jin Ryu (6-3): 6 IP, 5 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts
Sv - Mariano Rivera (25): 1 IP, 2 strikeouts