Dud leaves Kuroda no closer to first road win

Dud leaves Kuroda no closer to first road win

Dud leaves Kuroda no closer to first road win
TORONTO -- Hiroki Kuroda's road woes continued, and his first trip north of the border is one he'd like to forget.

The Yankees lost for the seventh time in their past 11 games at Toronto, 8-1 on Wednesday night, while Kuroda surrendered the most runs he's allowed since his rookie season.

Outdone by counterpart Kyle Drabek, Kuroda fell to 0-4 on the road this year, allowing three homers and seven runs in the series-opening loss at Rogers Centre.

"Ugly game," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Kuroda was close to getting out of the second, getting out of the third without giving up a run and then we didn't get many hits. [Drabek] has a really good sinker and was getting us to chase a little bit below the zone. When you say that it's easier said than done not to chase, that's the thing. If he's going to live at the knees and not make mistakes out in the zone, he's going to be tough. That's the bottom line."

Kuroda looked sharp early but consistently missed chances to close out innings; six of the seven runs he allowed came with two outs, starting with a J.P. Arencibia homer to left in the second that gave the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead.

The homers continued into the next inning, as Edwin Encarnacion slugged a 1-0 offering with two on and two outs to dead center for his 13th homer of the year, putting the Blue Jays ahead, 5-0.

Toronto added one more in the fourth before Jose Bautista capped the homer brigade with a screamer off Kuroda that landed in the second deck in left field to make it a 7-0 ballgame.

"I think all the home run balls I threw stayed up; that's what happened," Kuroda said through an interpreter.

"I'm hoping I can be more consistent than I am right now, but unfortunately, it's not the way it's going right now. But it will come."

Kuroda had allowed only seven earned runs once before, and it came on July, 28, 2008, as a member of the Dodgers during his first Major League season. Russell Martin, New York's starting catcher, was also behind the plate for that one and is confident that Kuroda will rebound despite setting a season high by allowing three homers on Wednesday.

"He's a quality pitcher and will bounce back," Martin said. "I have all the confidence in the world. He's got really good stuff. Today was just one of those where we left too many balls over the middle of the plate."

Kuroda lasted into the sixth but was yanked after Arencibia led off the frame with his third hit of the game on Kuroda's 101st pitch of the night. The right-hander walked two and matched his season high with six strikeouts, but the Yankees did little at the plate to help his cause.

The only run the Yankees could muster came in the sixth, when Mark Teixeira got a friendly bounce on a two-out single to right for his 1,500th career hit to score Robinson Cano, who was the only Yankees player to record an extra-base hit off Drabek. Cano collected his 300th career double two batters before Teixeira singled.

Drabek lasted seven innings and beat New York for the first time in his career. The right-hander entered the game 0-2 in four career appearances against the Yankees but got the best of them this time, allowing just three hits while walking four and striking out five.

"That sinker was really working," Teixeira said of Drabek. "You don't want to say [Roy] Halladay because Halladay's a special pitcher, but getting the ground balls, it felt like Halladay was out there tonight, because he just wasn't getting the ball up in the zone at all."

New York manufactured its best chance to get back in the game in the seventh while trailing, 7-1.

With two on and one out, Curtis Granderson grounded a ball to Blue Jays shortstop Omar Vizquel, who threw to second base to get Jayson Nix on a forceout. Girardi was not happy with the call and voiced his frustration with second-base umpire CB Bucknor, to no avail.

Drabek then struck out Nick Swisher looking to end the frame and put an end to New York's threat.

"That's a big play; we would have had the bases loaded with one out and the 2,3,4 [hitters] coming up," Girardi said.

Clay Rapada, who relieved Kuroda, served up a homer to Blue Jays second baseman Kelly Johnson on an 0-1 pitch -- home run No. 4 in the game for Toronto, which tied a season high.

I think over the last two nights, we have had a very consistent approach at the plate," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "I think we've had a very consistent and focused approach throughout, but more importantly, keeping the momentum on our side was Kyle going out and putting up an additional zero each time. This was a good offensive night for us."

The Yankees, taking their second loss in as many games, fell to 1-13 this season when scoring three or fewer runs.

Chris Toman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.