Hiroki Kuroda aims to win his fifth straight decision on Tuesday when the New York Yankees open an eight-game road trip with the first of three games against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.
Kuroda has been sensational for the Yankees here in the early going, posting a 4-1 mark to go along with a 2.25 ERA. Kuroda defeated the Houston Astros his last time out, as he scattered four hits over seven scoreless innings to get the win. However, he did walk four batters and also struck out a season-high eight.
"You have to be pretty good to stick around to make it through those first three innings and then be good enough to give your team seven innings," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Kuroda has struggled against the Rockies, going a mere 1-5 in 10 starts against them, while pitching to a 5.52 ERA.
New York hits the road after a successful 7-3 homestand that culminated with a series loss to the Oakland Athletics, including a 5-4 setback in Sunday's rubber match.
Boone Logan (2-2) was dealt the loss for serving up Josh Donaldson's go-ahead homer, with Andy Pettitte reached for four runs -- three earned -- while walking four over five innings in a second straight shaky start for New York.
"Everything has been great in my (bullpen sessions), but something is going on in the games," Pettitte said afterward. "I can feel my release point floating around. You just know from the feel of your fingers, the ball is just not coming off right. It has been a long, long time since I haven't had a feel for my pitches."
Robinson Cano and Ichiro Suzuki each had two hits and an RBI for New York, while Lyle Overbay delivered a two-run single in defeat.
Colorado, meanwhile, has cooled off considerably since opening the year with 13 wins through its first 17 games. The Rockies lost two of three over the weekend to the Tampa Bay Rays and fell in Sunday's finale, 8-3.
Michael Cuddyer, Troy Tulowitzki and Nolan Arenado had the solo shots for the Rockies, who have lost five of eight.
Starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin (3-1) made his return from the 15-day disabled list caused by a lower back sprain, and allowed six runs -- five earned -- on eight hits and three walks over seven frames.
"You're going to run into days like that unfortunately," Cuddyer said of his team going 0-for-9 with runners position. "We just couldn't up with the big hit."
Getting the call for the Rockies on Tuesday will be lefty Jorge De La Rosa, who is 2-3 with a 4.18 ERA. De La Rosa lost his second straight start last Tuesday in Los Angeles, as the Dodgers tagged him for six runs and 11 hits in four innings.
De La Rosa, though, is a perfect 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA in three games (2 starts) against the Yankees.
New York is 7-5 all time vs. Colorado.