Yankees’ Bats Quiet at Mile High
By ARNIE STAPLETON
AP Sports Writer
DENVER (AP) _ Jorge De La Rosa pitched six scoreless innings in a steady rain and Carlos Gonzales hit his seventh homer in the Colorado Rockies’ 2-0 win over the New York Yankees on Tuesday night.
Despite a stellar start from Hiroki Kuroda, the Yankees lost their fifth straight game at Coors Field, dating to an interleague series in 2002. They were swept in a three-game set in 2007 in their last trip to Denver’s downtown ballpark.
Gonzalez broke a scoreless tie with two outs in the sixth when he sent a 3-2 pitch from Kuroda into the right field bullpen with a runner on to give Colorado a 2-0 lead. His homer followed a two-out single by Josh Rutledge.
Michael Cuddyer and Todd Helton followed with hard singles to put runners at the corners for rookie Nolan Arenado. Kuroda’s wild pitch sent Helton to second but Cuddyer had to hold up when the ball caromed off the backstop and back to catcher Chris Stewart.
Kuroda (4-2) got Arenado to line out to right to end the inning.
In his first loss since April 3 against Boston, Kuroda allowed just two earned runs on seven hits over seven innings. He fell to 1-6 against Colorado in 11 career starts.
De La Rosa (3-3) allowed three hits, walked one and struck out a pair in improving to 3-0 with a 0.98 ERA lifetime against the Yankees.
Beginning a stretch in which they’ll play 26 of 40 games on the road, the Yankees didn’t bring a lot of pop to the plate. They managed just three singles off De La Rosa. Matt Belisle didn’t allow a hit in the seventh, Rex Brothers pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and closer Rafael Betancourt gave up a leadoff infield single to Jayson Nix in the ninth before getting the next three batters _ two of them on strikeouts _ for his ninth save in as many tries.
The Yankees stranded three runners at third base. Both teams left a runner there in the third inning. Ichiro Suzuki singled and stole two bases but Nix was caught looking at strike three. Jonathan Herrera, starting in place of Troy Tulowitzki (leg), doubled in the bottom half and advanced on a groundout before Rutledge _ who singled in his other three at-bats _ grounded out to short.
In the fifth, Stewart reached third, but he, too, was stranded, when first baseman Todd Helton scooped the throw from third baseman Arenado to nab Suzuki for the third out.
Rain began falling in the fourth inning and a message on the scoreboard warned “All fans in the upper deck, please leave the seating area, move under cover due to lightning in the area.” But the game went on.
Tulowitzki was held out of the Rockies’ lineup with lingering soreness in his left leg. Colorado athletic trainer Keith Dugger said Tulowitzki, who is second in the NL with a .348 batting average, has minor swelling in his left adductor, near the groin. It’s close to the area where he had season-ending surgery last June to remove scar tissue but is unrelated to that injury, Dugger said.
“I know a lot of people might be worried; I’m actually not,” Tulowitzki said.
Manager Walt Weiss said he hoped to have Tulowitzki in the lineup Wednesday night.
“It’s flared up a little bit, so he’s getting a few more days than normal. But the key is to keep him out there for the long haul,” Weiss said. “We can’t miss chunks of time with him if we’re going to be serious about competing for this division. We’re going to need him out here. So, a day here, a day there we can live with.”
NOTES: The Yankees stole four bases. … The crowd of 41,595 included three dozen members of the Denver Broncos, who watched the Yankees take batting practice and posed for pictures on the field before the game. And unlike in January, Peyton Manning wasn’t booed when he took a knee this time. … Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who was drafted by Colorado in 1992, was presented with a Rockies jersey in a home plate ceremony before the game as part of the Rockies’ 20th anniversary celebration.
AP Sports Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton can be reached at http://twitter.com/arniestapleton