ST. LOUIS (AP) — It was news to Hiroki Kuroda that it had been 10 months since he last won on the road.
“I wasn’t really thinking about that,” the right-hander said through an interpreter after the New York Yankees gave him a big early lead in a 7-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night. “In fact, I didn’t know until you told me.”
Kuroda snapped an 11-start road winless streak and Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits and three RBIs his first three at-bats against Shelby Miller.
“It was nice playing with a lead,” Ellsbury said of the 7-0 advantage. “I thought Kuroda did a tremendous job and we got some big hits in big situations. We put a lot of good swings on balls.”
John Ryan Murphy added two RBIs for the Yankees, who took two of three without an appearance from Mark Teixeira, nursing a sore wrist, and wrapped up a 5-4 trip. Catcher Brian McCann had an RBI single and made his first career start at first base in the finale.
“I felt pretty good over there,” McCann said. “With each pitch I was glad balls weren’t hit to me, but I’ll get more reps in practice just in case Tex needs a couple days and I can fill in there.”
Miller (6-4) allowed a career-worst seven runs and nine hits in five innings for St. Louis.
“He came out of the gate looking pretty good,” manager Mike Matheny said. “Third inning hit and they were just on everything.
“You didn’t see a lot of bad swings, no matter what we threw up there.”
Kolten Wong had a career-best four hits and an RBI, Matt Carpenter doubled twice with an RBI and Yadier Molina had two hits and two walks, but the Cardinals stranded 13 runners.
Derek Jeter didn’t play in the finale but made a curtain call before the seventh inning after the scoreboard camera focused on him in the dugout and fans responded with another standing ovation.
“The fans were awesome here, all three days,” Jeter said. “I’ve always heard how great of a baseball city this is and I’m glad I had a chance to experience it before my career was over with.”
Kuroda (4-3) allowed three runs in 5 2-3 innings for his first road victory since last July 25 at Texas. He had been 0-7 since then, the longest drought of his career but is 1-1 away from Yankee Stadium this year.
Miller had won five of his previous six starts but has lasted fewer than six innings seven times in his 11 starts. Frequently jumping on the first pitch, the Yankees pelted the 23-year-old right-hander for seven runs and seven hits. He walked two in the third and fourth.
“I gave up some big hits on curveballs, two of them were first-pitch,” Miller said. “I don’t know if I was tipping it or not.
“It seemed that especially in the third it was hit after hit, it kind of got away right there.”
Ellsbury had an RBI single in the third as five straight Yankees reached safely, and added a two-run single in the fourth. Murphy had a two-run single in the fourth.
The Cardinals stranded two in the second and left the bases loaded in the third when Molina popped out to second. Kuroda has allowed just one extra-base hit with the bases loaded in 65 career plate appearances, limiting opponents to 14 hits in 57 at-bats with a double.
St. Louis chipped away with single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth and Wong’s RBI single off David Robertson in the eighth cut the deficit to three. The first two Cardinals reached in the ninth before Robertson struck out the next three, including pinch-hitter Matt Adams, to earn his 12th save in 13 chances.
“I had to really bear down to get the last three outs,” Robertson said. “It was a good trip for us, a lot of tough wins for us.”
- All three games were sellouts. Paid attendance of 45,267 in the finale was the Cardinals’ 13th in 24 home dates.
- Adams did not start at 1B due to calf tightness and Matheny wasn’t sure whether he’d be able to be back in the lineup Thursday against the Giants.
- The Yankees have a day off Thursday before beginning a seven-game homestand against the Twins, Mariners and A’s. Vidal Nuno (1-1, 5.49) starts Friday against Minnesota’s Ricky Nolasco (2-5, 6.12). Jaime Garcia (1-0, 4.26) opposes San Francisco’s Ryan Vogelsong (3-2, 3.20) Thursday.
- Matt Holliday singled in the third and has reached base safely in all 24 home games.
- The Yankees are 6-3 overall against St. Louis.