Originally posted on Bronx Pinstripes  |  Last updated 6/30/13
It is up to Hiroki Kuroda (7-5, 2.77 ERA) to salvage a win from the series against Chris Tillman (9-2, 3.72 ERA) and the Orioles. Kuroda has been sharp as of late, posting a 2.53 ERA and holding hitters to a .200 batting average over his last three starts. He last faced the Orioles on May 22 and was abused for five runs and eight hits in just two innings. Tillman ran into trouble early in his last start against the Indians, but hung in to go seven innings, giving up just three earned runs and getting the win. He has won six of his past seven starts and is 5-0 in June. Tonights game is a chance for the Orioles’ first sweep of the Yankees since 2005 and, perhaps, a symbolic changing of the guard in the division. The young Orioles, led by Adam Jones, Manny Machado and Chris Davis, are now three games ahead of the aging Yankees, who are without young star power as well as most of their veteran staples. ”Hitting is difficult,” Joe Girardi said as he searches for a solution for his team’s offensive struggles. “It’s not easy. You can try some things, but we’ve faced a lot of left-handers, and to take some crazy risks, I don’t believe in doing that.” Through 10 Major League games, David Adams was a .300 hitter, flashing his potential. Three games earlier he’d hit his first career home run, against the Orioles. Since then he’s cooled down, considerably. His averaged slipped to .200 in 15 games. Five games later he’s hovering below .200. Adams is batting just .190, with a .280 slugging percentage and just two home runs. But similar to his teammates, he hasn’t changed his demeanor. “I haven’t seen him hang his head a lot,” Girardi said. “I think his personality has been pretty consistent. He worked really hard.”   Notes on the game. Joe Girardi is still waiting for his 600th career win as a manager Davis and Machado lead the Majors in home runs and doubles, respectively. The last teammates to lead the league in both categories were Yankees Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth in 1927. Markakis and Jones are  batting .385 and .375, respectively against Kuroda. Davis has just one home run against Kuroda but is a .285 hitter in his career off him.   Game kicks off at 8:05 PM (EST) on ESPN.
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