Hiroki Kuroda snapped an 11-start winless streak and Jacoby Ellsbury helped build an early lead with three hits and three RBIs his first three at-bats in a 7-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.
John Ryan Murphy added two RBIs for the Yankees, who took two of three without an appearance from Mark Teixeira, nursing a sore wrist, and wrapped up a 5-4 trip. Catcher Brian McCann made his first career start at first base in the finale.
Shelby Miller (6-4) allowed a career-worst seven runs and nine hits in five innings for St. Louis. Kolten Wong had a career-best four hits and an RBI, Matt Carpenter doubled twice with an RBI and Yadier Molina had two hits and two walks, but the Cardinals stranded 13 runners.
Derek Jeter didn't play in the finale but made a curtain call before the seventh inning after the scoreboard camera focused on him in the dugout and fans responded with another standing ovation.
Kuroda (4-3) allowed three runs in 5 2-3 innings for his first road victory since last July 25 at Texas. He had been 0-7 since then, the longest drought of his career but is 1-1 away from Yankee Stadium this year.
Miller had won five of his previous six starts but has lasted fewer than six innings seven times in his 11 starts. Frequently jumping on the first pitch, the Yankees pelted the 23-year-old right-hander for seven runs and seven hits. He walked two in the third and fourth.
Ellsbury had an RBI single in the third as five straight Yankees reached safely, and added a two-run single in the fourth. Murphy had a two-run single in the fourth.
The Cardinals stranded two in the second and left the bases loaded in the third when Yadier Molina popped out to second. Kuroda has allowed just one extra-base hit with the bases loaded in 65 career plate appearances, limiting opponents to 14 hits in 57 at-bats with a double.
St. Louis chipped away with single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth and Wong's RBI single off David Robertson in the eighth cut the deficit to three. The first two Cardinals reached in the ninth before Robertson struck out the next three, including pinch-hitter Matt Adams, to earn his 12th save in 13 chances.
NOTES: All three games were sellouts. Paid attendance of 45,267 in the finale was the Cardinals' 13th in 24 home dates. ... Adams did not start at 1B due to calf tightness. ... The Yankees have a day off Thursday before beginning a seven-game homestand against the Twins, Mariners and A's. Vidal Nuno (1-1, 5.49) starts Friday against Minnesota's Ricky Nolasco (2-5, 6.12). The Cardinals open a four-game series at home against the Giants Thursday, with Jaime Garcia (1-0, 4.26) opposing Ryan Vogelsong (3-2, 3.20). ... Matt Holliday singled in the third and has reached base safely in all 24 home games. ... The Yankees are 6-3 overall against St. Louis.