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Despite shaky outing, Kuroda improves to 2-1

Kyodo

Right-hander Hiroki Kuroda labored through six-plus innings but still picked up his second win of the season in the New York Yankees’ 7-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday.

Kuroda (2-1) allowed four earned runs on three walks and six hits, including a two-run home run to A.J. Pierzynski in the second inning, before being relieved with one out in the seventh.

Catcher Brian McCann slugged his first two homers as a Yankee to aid Kuroda, who credited his batterymate for helping him through the 97-pitch outing.

“When you throw around 100 pitches a game, it’s difficult to execute every pitch the way you want to,” said Kuroda, who struck out five. “I managed to get the win and I want to use that as motivation for my next start.”

“McCann called a good game, but my curveball worked today, which was huge.”

The Yankees’ Ichiro Suzuki entered the game as a defensive replacement in right field in the ninth inning, but did not get an at-bat.

Also Saturday, Kansas City Royals leadoff hitter Norichika Aoki went 0-for-4 in a 7-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins.