Yangervis Solarte drew first blood from Hiroki Kuroda with a fielding error that led to two unearned runs. Next it was Shawn Kelley flushing Kuroda’s win with a blown save in the eighth inning.
Surely, Kuroda’s gem would be lost in a defeat because that’s what happens to teams in a rut. Yet, it was Brian Roberts’ first homer as a Yankee that lifted the visitors to a pulsating, 4-3, victory over the Angels Tuesday night that was witnessed by 40,106 at Angel Stadium.

With two outs and Ernesto Frieri throwing bullets, Roberts didn’t think too much.

“I am not sure I have looked for anything else,’’ said Roberts, who lofted the first pitch fastball above the right-field wall. “My approach has been see it and hit it.’’

Making it a little harder is all the information Roberts had on Frieri was what he saw on the scoreboard.

“I didn’t know a whole lot,’’ said Roberts, who drove in a run in the fifth with a single. “I looked at the scoreboard and saw 95 mph. I figured I had to get my bat ready.’’

Kuroda deserved much better than a no-decision since he allowed one unearned run and five hits in 7 ²/₃ innings. Nevertheless, the performance soothed the jangled nerves of the Yankees’ universe after three poor outings.

“The best thing for me was that the team won,’’ said Kuroda, who left after giving up a two-out, opposite-field triple to Mike Trout in the eighth.

Because Joe Girardi wanted to avoid using closer David Robertson for more than three outs, the manager summoned Kelley, who threw 34 pitches Monday night when he was ejected, to face Albert Pujols.

Kelley’s first three pitches were balls and followed by two strikes. After a loud foul down the left-field line, Pujols served an 83-mph pitch into left-center for an RBI single that scored Trout and tied the score, 3-3.