Hiroki Kuroda's struggles continued on Friday, though unlike teammate Ivan Nova the night before, the veteran right hander was able to grind his way to a victory. Kuroda allowed two runs over 5 1/3 innings, allowing 10 hits and two walks while striking out four batters. He gave up five hits -- including three doubles -- and issued a walk during the first two innings, but he got some help from his defense and made a few key pitches to keep Toronto off the scoreboard. "I thought he did a really good job for us," manager Joe Girardi said. "When you don't have your best stuff and you can win games, that says a lot about you. Those are the games when you have to find a way to win." Kuroda had posted a 5.29 ERA over his past five starts, prompting pitching coach Larry Rothschild to suggest he skip his between-start bullpen session. Kuroda was frustrated with the lack of crispness on his pitches Friday, but he was pleased to do what was necessary to pick up his 15th victory, a career high. "I had to grind out there," Kuroda said through a translator. "I tried to minimize all the damage, I was able to go through five-plus innings and I was happy that our team won today. "Last time I pitched and today also, the movement on my fastball wasn't really there. The movement on all my pitches wasn't really there. That's something I have to work on for my next start."
- Hiroki Kuroda