Hiroki Kuroda made three bad pitches during his first start of the 2014 season Wednesday night, and the first two resulted in the Houston Astros' only two runs of the game.
For the second straight night, the Yankees' offense wasn't able to get much going against Astros pitching, as the Bombers fell to the 'Stros, 3-1, Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston, starting the season 0-2 for the third year in a row.
As you would have expected, Kuroda pitched pretty well, for the most part, but got no run suppose as usually is the case.
While Kuroda was busy giving up just two runs on four hits, while walking one and striking out five in six innings, the Yankees didn't collect their first extra-base hit until the 7th inning on a double by Carlos Beltran, which was followed by three straight strikeouts from Brian McCann, Mark Teixeira and Alfonso Soriano.
Yankees batter struck out a total of 10 times in the game. Just not a good offense showing, no matter how early it is in the season.
The Yankees had a couple of innings where they were able to put runners on the corners with one or two outs, but were only able to capitalize on one of those situations. It was in the 6th inning when Yangervis Solarte broke into the big leagues by grounding into a 4-5-3 double play, scoring Derek Jeter from third base, who walked to open the inning.
If I were to give anyone the offensive MVP award, it would easily go to Brian Roberts, who picked up three hits tonight, all singles, after collecting a hit Tuesday night. Although it's still a long shot this early into the season, you have to be excited about what Roberts can bring to the Yankees as long as he can stay healthy.
The Astros, on the other hand, weren't tearing down the walls with their bats in this game, but they were able to do more at the plate than the Yanks could. Dexter Fowler took Kuroda's second pitch of the game a long way into the Astros' bullpen in right-center field, giving Houston a very quick 1-0 lead.
Two innings later, Fowler hit another Kuroda pitch deep into right-center field once again, sending Jacoby Ellsbury all the way back to Tal's Hill for a one-out triple. A batter later, Robbie Grossman hit a laser to Teixeira at first base, who couldn't handle it, letting Fowler score from third, uncontested.
After the Teixeira error in the third, the only other base runner given up by Kuroda in the game was Grossman again, who tripled to deep center. The Astros' first three hits in the game a homerun and two triples.
The fourth hit of the game for Houston -- you guessed it -- was another extra-base hit in the 7th inning. After Solarte's run-scoring double play but the Yankees on the board, the Astros were able to get that run back in bottom half of the inning with a solo homerun by Matt Dominguez off of David Phelps, who took over for Kuroda to start the 7th inning.
And for your daily Jeter update: The Captain went 0-for-3 in the game.
The Yankees and Astros will wrap up this three game series Thursday night, with Ivan Nova getting the ball for the Bombers, while Houston will send Brett Oberholtzer to the mound at 8:10 pm ET.