ST. PETERSBERG, FLORIDA – New York Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda lost his first regular-season start in pinstripes on Saturday, pitching 5-2/3 shaky innings in an 8-6 defeat to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Kuroda (0-1) left with a 6-2 deficit after giving up four earned runs and eight hits, including a third-inning solo homer to Matt Joyce, at Tropicana Field.
Joyce and Luke Scott drove in three runs apiece for the Rays, who built a 4-0 lead in the first three innings on their way to a second straight win.
Kuroda uncharacteristically struggled with his command, walking four and striking out two in a 95-pitch outing.
At Oakland, Munenori Kawasaki made his major league debut in the Seattle Mariners’ 8-7 win over the Athletics.
Starting at shortstop and batting ninth, Kawasaki went 1-for-4 with an RBI single. Ichiro Suzuki had two hits in five at-bats, including a run-scoring triple.
The Mariners have won their first two games in the United States after splitting the two-game season-opening series in Japan — all against the A’s.