After unleashing an impressive offensive outburst against a former Cy Young Award winner, the New York Yankees figure to relish facing a rookie in his second big-league game.
New York will look to conclude this series with another big performance Thursday night against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.The Yankees (69-62) shelled David Price for nine consecutive hits and 12 overall Wednesday night, chasing the left-hander after just two-plus innings in an 8-4 victory. New York's eight runs were its most this season without a homer, and it marked the second-shortest outing in 175 career starts for Price, who was coming off a one-hitter at Tampa Bay."Sometimes it just happens. The game doesn't always make sense," manager Joe Girardi said. "He's as good as it gets, and we were able to hit some balls in the holes, and it worked out."Jacoby Ellsbury was 2 for 4 with two stolen bases to push his season total to 37 while improving his average to .486 over the last nine games. He's also 8 for 13 with six RBIs while hitting in the leadoff spot in his last three contests.New York has scored seven-plus runs in three of four games and has won six of seven to pull within 2 1/2 games of Seattle for the second AL wild-card spot. The Yankees are two games back of the Tigers (71-60).They'll dig in Thursday against Kyle Lobstein (0-0, 4.76 ERA), a second-round pick by Tampa Bay in 2008. The left-hander made his major league debut Saturday, throwing the last 5 2/3 innings in Detroit's 12-4 loss at Minnesota and gave up three runs and four hits while throwing 100 pitches.Lobstein joined the team earlier in the day, getting the call from Triple-A Toledo to help a Tigers pitching staff that had been taxed heavily in a 20-6 loss a night earlier."I thought he did a good job," manager Brad Ausmus said. "He did what we thought he could do for us, and that is pitch a bunch of innings for us if we were in a jam."Rookies are 6-8 in 18 starts versus the Yankees this year.Brian McCann has 13 hits in his last 31 at-bats against left-handers with seven RBIs.New York's Hiroki Kuroda (9-8, 3.94) has won back-to-back outings for the first time since July 20-25, 2013, allowing a combined four runs over 12 2/3 innings against Tampa Bay and the Chicago White Sox. His six strikeouts in Saturday's 5-3 victory over Chicago were his most in six starts."We need him down the stretch," Girardi told MLB's official website. "He's got the most experience out there and he's been pitching well."Kuroda didn't record a decision in a 4-3 loss to Detroit on Aug. 5, allowing three runs in seven innings, and is 0-1 with a 3.76 ERA in four lifetime starts against the Tigers.Detroit is the only team he's yet to defeat.Miguel Cabrera, who has scored 14 runs while reaching base in 17 straight games, is 5 for 12 with two homers and a double against Kuroda.
Hiroki Kuroda has thrown 643 splitters this season, which is the most in MLB. Against those pitches, opponents have an OPS of .458, which is 74 points below the league average among qualified starters. J.D. Martinez is one of two qualified hitters to fail to reach base in a plate appearance ending in a splitter since the beginning of 2012.