Bronx, NY – Hiroki Kuroda turned in another gem on his home mound, and the New York Yankees survived one more eventful ninth inning to hold on for a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the opener of a four-game series.
Kuroda (11-7) yielded just three hits and a walk while striking out seven over eight scoreless innings to lower his season ERA at Yankee Stadium to 1.54, the best mark at home by any starting pitcher this season.
With Mariano Rivera having blown his last three save chances, manager Joe Girardi turned to a combination of Boone Logan and David Robertson in the ninth. The duo combined to give up a run, but Robertson was able to work out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam to nail down New York's third win in four games.
Robertson said it was weird closing the game when the crowd was cheering for Rivera.
"That was little different. It's not easy to pitch when the crowd is chanting, 'We want Mo' when you're warming up," Robertson said.
Curtis Granderson supplied the offense for the Yankees with a solo homer as part of a 2-for-3 night, with Brett Gardner chipping in an RBI single that helped spoil the first career complete game from Angels starter Garrett Richards.
Richards (3-5) scattered seven hits and a walk over eight sharp innings, but found little support from his offense as the Angels lost for the sixth time in eight outings. Josh Hamilton did double twice and knocked in LA's lone run.
"There are some positives to take away and definitely one of them was the way Garrett pitched," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "It's important for him to keep moving forward. He's really pitched well."
Kuroda toyed with the lineup throughout the night, with Hamilton's double to open the second inning the Angels' only hit through the game's first six frames.
Mike Trout reached on an infield single to lead off the seventh with the Angels trailing 1-0, but was erased when Hamilton bounced into a double play. Chris Iannetta doubled with two outs in the eighth, but Kuroda got pinch- hitter Hank Conger to pop up his final pitch and the Yankees went into the final inning with a two-run edge.
Logan started the top of the ninth and was greeted by a single by J.B. Shuck before striking out Kole Calhoun and giving way to Robertson, who walked Trout in front of Hamilton's bloop double over the head of third baseman Alex Rodriguez that pulled the Angels within 2-1 and sent the tying run to third.
Erick Aybar was then intentionally walked to load the bases, but Robertson struck out both the slumping Mark Trumbo and Chris Nelson to end the game.
Gardner, who delivered two game-winning hits in this past weekend's series against Detroit, came through once again to send the Yankees ahead in the third. After Eduardo Nunez singled with one out and took second on a Chris Stewart grounder, the speedy leadoff hitter smacked a line-drive hit into center field that brought home the contest's first run.
Richards held New York in check over the next three innings, getting a double- play grounder from Rodriguez that ended the sixth with a pair of runners aboard. He made a mistake pitch in the seventh, however, that Granderson belted into the second deck in right field to extend the lead to 2-0.
Kuroda extended his scoreless streak at home to 21 2/3 innings ... Granderson homered twice off Richards in the latter's only other career start against New York, which came in his major league debut at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 10, 2011 ... Trumbo finished 0-for-4 and has just one hit over his last 26 at-bats ... Fourteen of Richards' 24 outs were recorded on the ground ... Including the playoffs, the Angels have lost 18 of their last 24 games to the Yankees in New York ... It was Robertson's first save of the season and sixth of his career.