Hiroki Kuroda already has more losses in August then he did all of last month.
Kuroda aims to rebound on Monday night when the New York Yankees kick off a four-game series at home against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
The 38-year-old righty went 3-0 with a 0.55 earned run average in five July starts, four of those scoreless as he yielded just two runs over 33 innings. He was solid against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, but lost a 3-2 decision after allowing three runs on nine hits and a walk over seven innings.
Kuroda fell to 10-7 with a 2.45 ERA in 23 starts this year following his first defeat since June 30.
"I wasn't really sharp out there, but I think I was able to get big outs," Kuroda told New York's website.
Kuroda is 2-2 with a 2.67 ERA in five career meetings with the Angels, who counter in the opener with Garrett Richards.
The right-handed Richards has gone 1-0 and allowed five runs over 18 innings in three starts since replacing Joe Blanton in the rotation. His ERA over that time is 2.50 and he is coming off a no-decision against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.
Richards hurled six innings and yielded three runs on six hits and a walk. He is 3-4 with a 4.20 ERA in 30 games (9 starts) this season, having not taken a loss since June 18.
The 25-year-old is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in two career appearances versus the Yankees with one start.
New York is coming off a dramatic series victory over the Detroit Tigers, winning Sunday's finale of the three-game set 5-4 despite another blown save by Mariano Rivera.
Rivera has blown three straight save chances for the first time in his career, two of those coming versus the Tigers. He gave up a game-tying, two-run homer to Miguel Cabrera in Friday's meeting, then served up solo homers to Cabrera and Victor Martinez in the ninth inning on Sunday.
"You're facing professional hitters. If you don't put the ball where you need to, you're going to get hit," said Rivera.
However, Brett Gardner again bailed out his closer. After producing the game- winning RBI single in the 10th inning on Friday, the speedy outfielder smacked his first-career walk-off homer in the ninth frame on Sunday.
That gave the Yankees their third victory in the past nine games.
Alex Rodriguez, in the midst of an appeal of his 211-game suspension for violating the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and the Basic Agreement, hit his first home run since Sept. 14 of last year and added an RBI single. That gave him 1,952 RBI in his career, moving him past Stan Musial for sole possession of fifth place on the all-time list.
Alfonso Soriano also homered for New York, his 2,000th career hit.
The Angels were eying a three-game sweep of Cleveland on Sunday, but dropped a 6-5 decision. Starter Jerome Williams allowed just one hit over the first five innings before coming undone in the sixth. He recorded just two outs in the frame and was charged with four runs in his sixth straight loss.
"We scored five but we had opportunities, RBI situations we didn't pick up," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "And that obviously, comes back to haunt you."
Mike Trout drove in two runs for the Angels, who have lost five of seven and 11 of their last 16 games.
Trout has reached base safely in 33 straight games, though the streak is extended to 41 in a row if a July 2 encounter is included when the only time he reached base was on an error.
Trout is batting .330 with 20 homers and 73 RBI this season,
The Angels won two of three over the Yankees at home from June 14-16.