Rays put unlikely homer barrage on Hiroki Kuroda

It had been a while prior to Friday that Hiroki Kuroda experienced this.
It had been a while prior to Friday that Hiroki Kuroda experienced this. (USATSI)

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Yankees starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda is having an excellent season. He came into Friday's start against the Rays with an AL-best 2.41 ERA. His rate of allowing home runs (0.674 HR per nine innings) was the eighth-best in the AL.

In fact, he hadn't coughed up a homer in a long time.

Prior to Friday, Kuroda hadn't given up a home run since the third inning of an outing on June 30 -- to Nate McLouth of the Orioles. He finished the outing with 3 2/3 homerless innings. Then, in the next eight starts, he didn't allow a single homer.

That was a streak of 57 1/3 innings without a round-tripper. He pushed it to 59 innings until Jose Lobaton hit a home run off the foul-pole with two outs in the second inning Friday night. Then, next inning, Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce went deep in back-to-back fashion. Ben Zobrist then homered to lead off the fifth.

So, to recap, 59 innings without having allowed a home run turned into four homers in just 2 1/3 innings.

Gotta love baseball.

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