Hiroki Kuroda pitched eight innings of one-run ball and Ichiro Suzuki homered twice as the Yankees topped the Red Sox 4-1 on Sunday night.
The Bombers claimed two out of three games in the series at Yankee Stadium to maintain their hold on the AL’s best record.
It was the first time in four career starts that Kuroda managed to beat Boston. He had been 0-0 with a 5.27 ERA in two starts against them this year, and he took a loss in his lone start versus the Red Sox while with the Dodgers.
Ichiro delivered a pair of solo shots in his seventh career two-homer game. He also had one back on June 2 for the Mariners. He’s hit .322 with three homers and 13 RBI in 26 games since joining the Yankees.
Josh Beckett took the loss for Boston after giving up four runs in six innings. He’s allowed 10 runs in 11 innings against the Yankees this season, and he’s 5-11 with a 5.23 ERA overall. He’s surrendered seven homers in 16 1/3 innings during the month of August after going the entire months of June and July (47 2/3 innings total) without ever allowing one.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.