With a brilliant blue sky as the backdrop, Friday was the perfect day at Yankee Stadium — unless you were the Angels, that is. Jorge Posada made an emotional return in the Bombers’ home opener, Hiroki Kuroda twirled eight-plus scoreless innings in his Bronx debut and Alex Rodriguez made some personal history, moving into a tie for fifth place on the all-time home run list. All of it added up to a 5-0 Yankees victory, giving the sellout crowd of 49,386 a day to remember.
“It was just amazing,” said Nick Swisher, whose three-run double in the first inning set the tone. “You could just feel the electricity. Nobody does it like Yankee Stadium.” “Opening Day, you want to win, first and foremost, but we played well,” Derek Jeter said. “Hiro did an outstanding job against a team that puts a lot of pressure on defenses and swings the bats. He’s the story of the game. He shut down a very good team.”
Kuroda looked like a different pitcher than the one who allowed six runs in 5.2 innings against the Rays last weekend, blanking the Angels over eight-plus innings. Kuroda allowed only five hits and walked two, striking out six as he collected his first win in pinstripes. “Since my last outing wasn’t really good, I wanted to do a much better job today,” Kuroda said through a translator. “I’m glad that I was able to do that today.”