Yanks stay tied for 1st despite 2-7 trip

Yankee Stadium will sure look good to the Yankees after this trip. The trek ended with a thud Wednesday night as the Yanks could not add on to a 2-0, first-inning lead and lost, 3-2, to the Nationals on an unearned run in the seventh inning.

The two-game sweep by Washington made it three losing series on the trip for the Yankees, who dropped three of four to Tampa Bay and two of three to Kansas City. The Yankees were 2-7 on the trip and have lost eight of their past 10 games on the road. It did not seem that long ago that the Yankees had an 11-4 road record. It is now 13-12.

Adam Warren gave up solo home runs to Ian Desmond in the first inning and Tyler Moore in the fourth but was hurt by a misplay in the infield in the seventh and compounded it with two walks.

An error by third baseman Chase Headley, his ninth of the year, began the seventh, and the batter who reached, catcher Wilson Ramos, came around to score on a single by Denard Span off lefthander Justin Wilson, who relieved Warren after pinch hitter Dan Uggla walked to load the bases.

Uggla’s at-bat proved as critical as Headley’s boot. Uggla swung at the first pitch and hit a foul pop down the right field line. Carlos Beltran pursued the ball from right field but pulled up as he moved into foul ground and the ball fell free. Given new life, Uggla drew a walk that continued the rally.

After giving up two runs in the first inning, Nationals righthander Jordan Zimmermann allowed no runs and three hits through the seventh. The Yankees did no damage against relievers Matt Grace or Drew Storen (12th save), either. Washington’s bullpen held the Yankees scoreless with three hits in seven innings in the series.

The Nats even spotted the Yanks their best player when Bryce Harper was bounced from the game in the fourth inning by plate umpire Marvin Hudson for beefing about a strike call.

The victory gave the Nats sole possession of first place in the National League East over the Mets, who lost at home to the Cardinals. Despite the tumbling journey in which they lost Jacoby Ellsbury to the 15-day disabled list and Chase Whitley to Tommy John surgery, the Yankees maintained a portion of first place in the American League East with the Rays, who lost at Atlanta and are even with the Yanks at 22-19.

The Yankees have a much-needed open date before resuming play Friday night at the Stadium against the Rangers to start a Memorial Day weekend series. Yankees fans who want to see how Masahiro Tanaka is doing in his injury rehabilitation can do so by viewing his start for Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against Durham. Coverage on the YES Network begins at 6:30 p.m.

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