ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – Hiroki Kuroda got a couple extra days between starts and it looked as if it paid off.
Kuroda pitched neatly into the seventh inning, Brett Gardner drove in two runs and the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 on Sunday.
Kuroda (8-8) retired 17 straight batters after allowing consecutive one-out singles to Ben Zobrist and Matt Joyce in the first.
“I was able to physically get refreshed as well as mentally,” Kuroda said through a translator.
Kuroda gave up two runs and four hits in 6⅔ innings. After Shawn Kelley and Dellin Betances combined for 1⅓ scoreless innings, David Robertson closed for his 33rd save.
“He had everything in his arsenal today,” New York manager Joe Girardi said of Kuroda, who lasted just 4⅔ innings in his previous start.
New York has won two in a row after losing five straight.
“We won our last two, and hopefully go home and win five or six and keep on going,” Gardner said.
Jeremy Hellickson (1-2) didn’t allow a hit until there were two outs in the fifth.
Hellickson made his sixth start after right elbow surgery in January. He left after the fifth.
Mark Teixeira reached 20 homers for the 11th time in his career with a solo shot in the Yankees eighth. The slugger tied Joe DiMaggio for 80th place on the all-time list with 361.
Orioles 4, Indians 1
In Cleveland, rookie Kevin Gausman pitched six strong innings as Baltimore salvaged the finale to avoid being swept for the first time since May.
Royals 12, Twins 6
In Minneapolis, Alex Gordon, Salvador Perez and Josh Willingham homered as the Royals won for the 20th time in their last 25 games.
Norichika Aoki finished 1-for-5 with two RBIs.
Mariners 8, Tigers 1
In Detroit, Chris Young pitched six shutout innings as Seattle won the weekend series, moving back ahead of the Tigers in the race for the second AL wild-card spot.
Rangers 3, Angels 2
In Arlington, Texas, Adam Rosales and Mike Carp hit RBI singles in the ninth inning off Angels closer Huston Street, rallying Texas.
White Sox 7, Blue Jays 5
In Chicago, Conor Gillaspie hit his first grand slam and Jordan Danks added a two-run shot to cap a six-run first inning.
Munenori Kawasaki finished hitless in three at-bats for Toronto.
Astros 8, Red Sox 1
In Boston, Jose Altuve hit his first grand slam after Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts made a mental gaffe on a play that would have ended an inning.
Braves 4, Athletics 3
In Atlanta, Justin Upton hit a two-run homer as the Braves ended Jon Lester’s seven-game winning streak.
Brewers 7, Dodgers 2
In Los Angeles, Jonathan Lucroy equaled a season high with five RBIs, including his first home run in more than three weeks, as Milwaukee completed a three-game sweep.
Wily Peralta tied Johnny Cueto and Adam Wainwright for the major league lead in victories, allowing five hits in six scoreless innings.
Nationals 6, Pirates 5 (11)
In Washington, pinch hitter Scott Hairston drove in Jayson Werth with a game-ending sacrifice fly, sending the Nationals to a three-game sweep.
Rockies 10, Reds 9 (1st)
Reds 10, Rockies 5 (2nd)
In Denver, Michael Cuddyer hit for the cycle, including a two-run double in Colorado’s five-run eighth inning.
The Rockies won the opener when Drew Stubbs capped a five-run ninth inning with a three-run homer off J.J. Hoover.
Marlins 10, Diamondbacks 3
In Miami, Giancarlo Stanton hit his 32nd homer and drove in four runs to power the Marlins to the win.
Giants 5, Phillies 2
In San Francisco, Michael Morse got three hits and scored twice.
Cubs 2, Mets 1
In New York, Starlin Castro hit a tiebreaking homer on the first pitch of the ninth inning.
Cardinals 7, Padres 6
In St. Louis, Matt Carpenter homered, doubled and drove in three runs for the Cardinals, as Adam Wainwright moved into a share of the major league lead with his 15th win.