Hiroki Kuroda’s solid effort was complete one out earlier than he wanted, and as he walked off the mound plate umpire Laz Diaz said something to him. The Yankees’ right-hander uncharacteristically talked back to the plate umpire generally regarded as among the worst in baseball and raised his arms while moving toward the third-base dugout. After pitching the Yankees to a 4-2 victory over the Royals in front of 29,515 at Kauffman Stadium, Kuroda wouldn’t reveal the exchange between him and Diaz. “I don’t remember,’’ Kuroda laughed when asked about what he said in English to Diaz. According to catcher Chris Stewart, Kuroda was annoyed Diaz didn’t call a strike on a 2-0 pitch to Alex Gordon with two outs and the bases empty in the eighth. Gordon eventually doubled and was the last batter Kuroda faced. “I think he was disappointed with the call and upset he gave up the double,’’ Stewart said. “He probably wanted to get the last out and go through eight innings for us. He was upset at the time and a little frustrated.’’ David Robertson surfaced and retired Billy Butler on a routine fly to center. Mariano Rivera worked around Eric Hosmer’s leadoff single in the ninth to post his 15th save in 15 chances. The victory was the Yankees’ fifth straight and sent them to Cleveland for today’s doubleheader 10 games over .500 at 23-13 and thriving without Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, Kevin Youkilis, Ivan Nova and Francisco Cervelli.
Kuroda, ump exchange words in HR-backed win
New York Post | May 13