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.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.