And all’s right in the world again: Yankees 7, Astros 4

I guess it’s a good thing this was a game against the Houston Astros because if the Yankees were facing another team, a better one, I’m not sure this win would have been possible.

Hiroki Kuroda, even though he didn’t give up any runs, had a rough first three innings and again, was lucky he was facing the Astros. He settled down and retired 11 of 12 batters after the third inning. He gave up only four hits in seven innings, walked four and struck out eight. He finished with 4-1 record in April and a 2.25 ERA. He’s 3-0 in his last three starts with a minuscule 1.23 ERA.

Another great stat for Kuroda from those last three starts? He’s averaging 7 1/3 innings.

The Yankees offense was able scratch and claw their way to some early runs and they had a 4-0 lead heading into the eighth inning when David Robertson came in. Robertson got two outs then gave up two runs on a home run by Chris Carter.

The bottom of the eighth, the Yankees broke the game open, scoring three runs on a Lyle Overbay solo shot, a Chris Stewart RBI single and a Travis Hafner RBI single.

The Astros, with the help of Yankee reliever Shawn Kelley, made things interesting in the ninth inning when Jose Altuve hit a two-run double to make it 7-4 and set up a save situation for Mariano Rivera.

Rivera, who was 9-9 in save opportunities in April, made it 10-10 with an easy five pitch appearance to end the game.

The rubber game is tomorrow and features Erik Bedard (0-2, 7.98 ERA) and David Phelps (1-1, 5.29 ERA) who is stepping in for the injured Ivan Nova.

Stacey is co-Editor-in-Chief of It's About The Money, co-host of the It's About The Money, Stupid podcast and is a monthly contributor to ESPN's SweetSpot Blog. She is a former contributor at Aerys Sports and High Heat Stats. She has contributed to group projects at Baseball: Past And Present and the Hall of Stats. Her work has appeared in USA Today's Sports Weekly and most recently, she wrote four pieces for Derek Jeter: Celebrating the Yankees' Captain Clutch, a magazine printed by i5 Publishing.