A four-game winning streak had been snapped by a loss to the Astros Monday, when the AL West’s new punching bag shelled Andy Pettitte. Last night, the Yankees turned to Hiroki Kuroda to help restore order to the universe.

Kuroda did the job.

The right-hander blanked Houston for seven innings in the Yankees’ 7-4 win in The Bronx, and the offense pounded ex-Met Philip Humber.

Though Kuroda’s final numbers were impressive, he hardly had an easy time in the early going. He allowed seven baserunners over the first three innings, but didn’t let any of them score.

Since Kuroda was clearly pitching better with runners on base, pitching coach Larry Rothschild told him he should stay in the stretch for the rest of the outing.

“He was in the stretch quickly anyway, so they thought it might simplify it a little bit to see if he got his stuff back,” manager Joe Girardi said.

“It’s something I don’t like to do, but I followed the suggestion,” said Kuroda, who admitted his sinker and slider were “pretty useless” over the first three innings.

In a season filled with adjustments for the Yankees (16-10), this was just the latest.

The Yankees never expected to have Travis Hafner in the cleanup spot, Eduardo Nunez starting at shortstop or Lyle Overbay at first base, but that’s where they all were last night and they all factored in the victory.

“It hasn’t always been pretty,” Girardi said. “But we’ve gotten clutch hits when we’ve needed them.”

Hafner delivered the first of three run-scoring singles in the first last night and another in the third to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. They made it 4-0 in the fifth when Brennan Boesch beat a throw to first to prevent a double play and allow Ichiro Suzuki to score, and then Jayson Nix followed with an RBI single.

Hafner, Nunez and Ichiro each had three hits and Overbay hit his fourth homer of the season.