Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hiroki Kuroda Blanks Rangers on Two Hits; Madison Bumgarner Cools Off Nationals as Giants Win

Players of the Day for Tuesday, August 14, 2012

American League

With their ace, C.C. Sabathia, on the DL, the Yankees need to get solid efforts from the rest of their starters. On Tuesday in the Bronx, Hiroki Kuroda answered the call, turning in his top performance of the year with a two-hit, 3-0, shutout of the Texas Rangers.

Hiroki Kuroda
Kuroda had a no-hitter through six, but speedy Elvis Andrus broke it up with an infield single to lead off the seventh. Unfazed, Kuroda got the next three batters in order, though Andrus eventually reached third base, tagging from first on Josh Hamilton's fly out to right and taking thrid on a wild pitch.

Michael Young was the only other Ranger to hit safely, leading off the eighth inning with a single up the middle, but he was quickly erased on a double play. Kuroda finished off the final four batters in order for his fourth career complete game, all of them shutouts. Kuroda (11-8) struck out five and walked two.

The Yankees struck for the only runs of the game in the seventh, on back-to-back homers by Nick Swisher - a two run poke - and Mark Teixeira.

The Yankees have taken the first two games of the four-game series with the Rangers which resumes Wednesday night at 7:05 pm EDT. Both the Yankees and Rangers lead their respective divisions by six games.

National League

There were four shutouts in the National League on Tuesday, though none of the pitching performances were complete game wins. The Dodgers topped the Pirates, 11-0; Cincinnati took care of the Mets, 3-0; Atlanta put away the Padres, 6-0; and Philadelphia survived a 1-0 win over Miami.

Madison Bumgarner
In San Francisco, however, Madison Bumgarner went the distance, as the Giants cooled off the Nationals, 6-1.

After the Nationals opened the series by the Bay with a 14-2 trouncing of their hosts, Bumgarner chilled the hot bats of the Nats, allowing just five hits and one earned run in his second complete game of the season. He walked one and didn't allow the lone Washington run until the seventh inning, after the Giants had built a 2-0 lead.

San Francisco added four runs in the eighth, allowing Bumgarner to complete his mound work. Bumgarner improved to 13-7, striking out six and setting down the last nine batters in order.

The win kept the Giants tied with the Dodgers on top of the NL West. Atlanta picked up a game on the Nationals in the East and trail by 4 1/2. The two division leaders will complete the three-game series Wednesday afternoon.

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