In their outstanding first half, the New York Yankees have produced an occasional dud and one of those was an ugly performance Sunday at Boston.
Coming off one of their worst showings of the first half, the Yankees attempt to avoid their second three-game losing streak of the season Tuesday night when they host the Cincinnati Reds in the opener of a three-game interleague series.
The Yankees are on their sixth skid of the season. Their only three-game slide was May 22-23 when they lost a doubleheader to the Chicago White Sox and the opener of a series to the Baltimore Orioles.
New York took a frustrating 11-6 loss at Boston on Sunday, when homers by Giancarlo Stanton and Matt Carpenter staked them to a 6-2 lead. Jameson Taillon allowed a tying two-run homer to J.D. Martinez and second baseman DJ LeMahieu could not catch two shallow popups to the outfield, resulting in the go-ahead run.
The Yankees settled for the split in the series after blowing a pair of late leads in Saturday’s 6-5 10-inning loss.
“When you win the first two, you want to finish off with a great series,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “They got behind again tonight and kept banging and took advantage of some mistakes we made. So it’s a little frustrating in the moment.”
Cincinnati, playing its first series at Yankee Stadium since July 25-26, 2017, is coming off one of its most enjoyable weekends of a nightmarish season.
The Reds own the second-worst record in the National League but are on a four-game winning streak and are 6-3 over their past nine games. Cincinnati posted a 10-5 win Sunday to complete a sweep of the visiting Tampa Bay Rays after winning the first two games via a balk and a wild pitch.
Mike Moustakas hit his 200th career homer to highlight a 14-hit showing by Cincinnati’s offense. Jonathan India and Tyler Stephenson also connected for the Reds, who earned four walk-off victories on their homestand.
“The whole homestand was against good teams, and we had a winning record. It was the way we went about things,” Reds manager David Bell said.
Gerrit Cole (8-2, 3.26 ERA), who is seeking a third straight win, opens the series for the Yankees. Cole survived allowing two homers to Rafael Devers on Thursday when he allowed five runs and five hits in six innings during a 6-5 win at Boston.
Cole, who has allowed two runs or less in 11 starts this year, is 1-8 with a 4.68 ERA in 13 career starts against Cincinnati. His only win against the Reds was on Aug. 26, 2017, for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Graham Ashcraft (4-2, 4.35), one of 14 rookies to appear for the club this season, goes for Cincinnati and makes his 10th career start. Ashcraft produced a 1.14 ERA through his first four starts but owns a 7.27 ERA over his past six outings.
Ashcraft last pitched Wednesday and took a no-decision against the New York Mets. He allowed two runs and a career-high 10 hits in six innings before the Reds allowed five runs in the 10th inning of an 8-3 loss.
–Field Level Media