Kuroda strikes out 11, Yankees beat White Sox 4-0
NEW YORK—Hiroki Kuroda tied a career high by striking out 11 and the New York Yankees backed him with three home runs, beating the White Sox 4-0 on Saturday and ending Chicago's four-game winning streak.
A day after outfielder Dewayne Wise was perfect in his pro pitching debut during a mop-up role, he was perfect at the plate. He had three hits and homered, with Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano also connecting.
Kuroda (8-7) pitched three-hit ball for seven innings and walked one in the matchup of AL division leaders.
Jake Peavy (6-5) struck out 11 without a walk in his fourth complete game this year.
The Yankees had another homer happy day in the heat, but far more gratifying to them must have been Kuroda's performance.
New York's pitching situation has been fraught since Wednesday, when the Yankees placed CC Sabathia on the disabled list with a strained groin, and lost Andy Pettitte for two months when he was hit in the lower left fibula by a batted ball, breaking the bone at the ankle.
Since then, Ivan Nova gave the Yankees a good start in a game the bullpen lost Thursday and rookie Adam Warren couldn't get out of the third inning on Friday night in a game that the bullpen made even worse. Wise had to finish off the 14-7 loss by getting the last two outs.
Kuroda's start was just what New York needed -- and then some.
The right-hander retired 15 straight batters after Paul Konerko's two-out single in the first inning, ending his streak by hitting Kevin Youkilis with a pitch when there were two outs in the sixth. The plunking came after Derek Jeter had been hit by a pitch in the bottom of the fifth following Wise's homer.
Kuroda struck out the side in the fourth and began the fifth with a whiff, too. He has 46 strikeouts against 11 walks in his last seven starts and a 1.65 ERA over that span.
David Robertson pitched the eighth and left-hander Boone Logan and closer Rafael Soriano protected the four-run lead in the ninth to finish the three-hitter.
Chicago has still won six of eight during a run that helped it overtake Cleveland for the AL Central lead. The White Sox fell to 23-15 on the road, which still has them only a half-game behind the Yankees for best in the AL.
Peavy was taken deep to right three times.
Granderson hit one out in the first, Wise's homer came in the fifth and Cano led off the sixth with a towering first-pitch drive. The Yankees began the day with what was already a major league-best 119 home runs.
Wise also hit an RBI double in the second and tied a career high with three hits.
NOTES: White Sox RHP Gavin Floyd is set to face Yankees righty Phil Hughes in Sunday's game, which will be Old-Timers' Day at Yankee Stadium. ... Gametime temperature was 93 degrees. ... Chicago returns home after Sunday's series finale for an off day before facing Texas and Toronto for six games going into the All-Star break. The Yankees wrap up before the break with three games at Tampa Bay and a four-game set in Boston that includes a day-night doubleheader on Saturday, July 7. ... White Sox 3B Youkilis lost a foul pop in the sun during the second inning while Raul Ibanez was batting. As he struggled with it, Yankees fans near him on the third-base line shouted to distract him, and the ball fell several feet away, drawing a cheer and a derisive shout "Youuuuuk!" Later in the at bat, he lost another one, this in fair territory and they started hooting immediately, then groaned when shortstop Alexei Ramirez made the catch. ... The Yankees were the only team in baseball not to lose three games in a row yet. ... Kuroda also fanned 11 in 2008 vs. the Cubs, when he was with the Dodgers.