Kuroda, Cano help Yankees beat Twins 2-0
New York — Hiroki Kuroda returned to the mound for one more gritty inning after an extended delay. Still, it might've been more if Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild hadn't counted all the warmup tosses the right-hander threw to keep loose during the rain.
Kuroda returned after a break of 73 minutes to pitch the fifth inning, Robinson Cano had another big hit against the Twins and New York beat Minnesota for the fifth time in two weeks, 2-0 Friday night.
Kuroda threw 90 pitches when it counted and about 20 in the batting cage while waiting out the chilly downpour. Rothschild decided that was enough work for one night.
"I think I gave Larry a hard time," Kuroda said.
Brett Gardner and Cano helped give Kuroda (8-6) just his second win in 10 starts, dating to May 22, with RBI singles in the bottom of the fifth off Twins bullpen after the Yankees had no success against Scott Diamond early on.
Boone Logan struck out the side in the seventh after relieving Preston Claiborne with two on. David Robertson was perfect in the eighth and Mariano Rivera finished off the eight-hitter for his 30th save.
Rivera reached 30 saves for the 15th time in his career, passing Trevor Hoffman for most 30-save seasons in big league history.
New York was playing without captain Derek Jeter after he strained his right quadriceps in his first game this season on Thursday. Jeter will not play in this series and the Yankees will re-evaluate after the All-Star break.
"It's deflating a bit," said Lyle Overbay, whose at-bat in the fourth spanned the delay. When the tarps came out he was behind 0-1.
"I had a 1-hour, 15-minute at-bat," Overbay joked. "First time I ever had to deal with that."
The Yankees improved to 31-7 against Minnesota in New York since 2002. New York swept the Twins in four straight in Minnesota from July 1-4 and has won nine of 12 overall.
The Twins were coming off a four-game sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays and have lost 12 of 13.
Manager Ron Gardenhire talked before the game about not allowing Cano to beat him after the All-Star drove in nine runs during the sweep.
"Bounce it. Please bounce it," Gardenhire said.
The first two times up, the plan worked. Diamond walked Cano. But after the rain, with Brian Duensing on the mound, Cano lined a single up the middle to score the Yankees' second run of the fifth inning.
"Even with the elements, and the atmosphere, I felt like I was focused in pretty well," said Diamond, who gave up one hit in 3 1-3 innings.
Luis Cruz had led off the fifth against Ryan Pressly (2-2), who took over for Diamond after the delay with one out in the fourth, with a single, just the Yankees' second hit. Chris Stewart sacrificed him to second and Gardner slapped a single the opposite way to left field for a 1-0 lead. Gardner moved to second on the throw home.
Duensing relieved and got Ichiro Suzuki to ground to second. Gardner advanced and then scored on Cano's hit.
That was more than enough to make Kuroda a winner against a Twins lineup that had great difficulty getting hits with runners on. Against the 38-year-old righty, Minnesota had eight runners on but only got one hit when there was a man on base.
"We had opportunities and we put men out there just didn't come up with any big hits again, kinda what our storyline's been," Gardenhire said. "Get them out there and missed opportunities."
Kuroda allowed six hits and two walks. He struck out five. He lowered his ERA to 2.65.
Claiborne took over for the sixth and had New York's first 1-2-3 inning. But he gave up hits to Pedro Florimon and Brian Dozier to start the seventh and yielded to left-hander Logan.
With the rain falling heavily again, Logan struck out Chris Parmelee. He threw a wild pitch that moved the runners up before fanning Joe Mauer, and during Justin Morneau's at-bat threw another ball to the backstop but Florimon failed to score, even after Stewart flipped the slick ball past Logan, rushing to cover home.
After being called out by third base umpire on Kerwin Danley on a checked-swing strike three, Morneau flipped his bat on home plate and threw his helmet. Plate umpire Lance Barksdale angrily pointed to the bat and Morneau picked it up.
"Boone Logan did an outstanding job," manager Joe Girardi said.
• The Yankees completed a contract with their third first-round draft pick, Aaron Judge, No. 32 overall for $1.8 million. The outfielder out of Fresno State was a compensation pick for losing Nick Swisher to free agency. ... Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez's rehab game with Class-A Tampa was postponed by rain. ... Morneau singled in the first and has hit safely in 12 of 14 games at Yankee Stadium since 2009.
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