NEW YORK — A few innings after a matchup between Japanese aces Yu Darvish and Hiroki Kuroda was spoiled by five home runs, Ichiro Suzuki finished off the Texas Rangers with a long ball of his own.
Suzuki homered off Tanner Scheppers with two outs in the ninth inning, lifting the New York Yankees to a 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.
"Love it," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Sometimes it's tough to score runs when you're not hitting home runs. We got enough tonight."
Suzuki's drive to right-center was the Yankees' fourth home run of the game, three coming off Darvish, and it helped New York improve to 4-3 on a homestand that ends after two more games against the Rangers.
"I think it was just the wrong pitch at the wrong time," Scheppers said. "I probably showed him too many fastballs in that at-bat. Probably should have went with something different."
The Bronx Bombers were coming off a stretch in which they hit just four homers in 15 games, going 6-9. Other than Travis Hafner on Tuesday, the contributions came from some unlikely sources.
Brett Gardner and Jayson Nix also homered off Darvish, who hasn't won in seven starts. Suzuki's drive was his fourth of the year.
"Anyone can contribute, that's the great thing about this game," Girardi said. "When you have a bat in your hand, you can be part of the story."
Texas also had an unlikely power source: No. 9 hitter Leonys Martin connected twice off Kuroda.
Mariano Rivera (1-1) worked a scoreless ninth for New York, which ended the Rangers' five-game winning streak.
Scheppers (5-1) pitched a perfect eighth before being touched up by Suzuki in New York's first walk-off win this year.
The anticipated matchup between Darvish and Kuroda, Japanese aces with ERAs under 3.00, fizzled on a hot and sticky night when a four-inning stretch produced five home runs.
The 11th major league matchup between starters from Japan got off to a sharp start. Even when the Yankees loaded the bases in the first on three straight singles that just cleared the gloves of leaping infielders, Darvish easily got out of the jam with a strikeout and an easy grounder.
But Martin started the home run barrage with a shot that landed a couple of rows back in the short right field porch.
"The home runs I gave up, that was bad, but otherwise I think I pitched well," Kuroda said through a translator.
After the Rangers went up 2-0 on an unearned run in the fourth aided by rookie third baseman David Adams' throwing error, Hafner led off the bottom half with a long ball into the New York bullpen. Martin then started the fifth with a shot that landed several sections to the left of his first homer for his fifth of the year.
Not to be outdone, Gardner led off the Yankees' half with a line drive deep into the seats in right field to pull New York to 3-2.
Kuroda had his first perfect inning since the second in the sixth. And Nix promptly tied it with a soaring fly to left field that cleared the wall by several rows, snapping his homerless string at 202 at-bats. Nix last homered on April 7.
|Minnesota||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Kansas City||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Buffalo||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Miami||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Detroit||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Indianapolis||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Cleveland||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Oakland||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Atlanta||12/8/13 12:00 PM|
|Tennessee||12/8/13 3:05 PM|
|St. Louis||12/8/13 3:25 PM|
|Seattle||12/8/13 3:25 PM|
|NY Giants||12/8/13 3:25 PM|
|Carolina||12/8/13 7:30 PM|
|Dallas||12/9/13 7:40 PM|
|San Diego St||38||2nd Half 17:14|
|Bowling Green||12/6/13 7:00 PM|
|(16) Northern Ill|
|(15) UCF||12/7/13 11:00 AM|
|(18) Oklahoma||12/7/13 11:00 AM|
|(6) Oklahoma State|
|Marshall||12/7/13 11:00 AM|
|Memphis||12/7/13 12:00 PM|
|(23) Texas||12/7/13 2:30 PM|
|(5) Missouri||12/7/13 3:00 PM|
|So Florida||12/7/13 6:30 PM|
|(7) Stanford||12/7/13 6:45 PM|
|(11) Arizona State|
|(20) Duke||12/7/13 7:00 PM|
|(1) Florida State|
|Louisiana||12/7/13 7:00 PM|
|(2) Ohio State||12/7/13 7:17 PM|
|(10) Michigan State|
|Utah State||12/7/13 9:00 PM|
|(24) Fresno State|
|Palm Beach Atlantic||48||FINAL|
|William & Mary||59|
|Utah Valley U||60||FINAL|
|Sam Houston St||47|
|San Diego Christian||28||FINAL|
|UC Santa Barbara||56|