Needed reinforcements on the way for Yankees
Tuesday night was a rough one for the Yankees’ All-Stars.
Dellin Betances, who will be on the American League’s pitching staff for the second consecutive year, gave up a leadoff home run in the 10th inning on a 0-2 breaking ball to Brett Lawrie, who had struck out in his other three at-bats, for what proved the deciding run in the Athletics’ 4-3 victory, their seventh in a row on the road.
Mark Teixeira, who will make his third All-Star appearance July 14 at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, made six outs on a 0-for-5 night that included grounding into a double play and three strikeouts, the last of which ended the game against Tyler Clippard (16th save) and stranded the potential go-ahead runs on first and second.
Starter Nathan Eovaldi gave up a run in the first inning on a two-out, RBI single by Josh Reddick, but the Yankees grabbed the lead in the bottom half against All-Star pitcher Sonny Gray on consecutive, two-out RBI singles by Brian McCann and Garrett Jones.
The game see-sawed after that. The A’s tied the score in the third on successive single by Marcus Semien, Billy Burns and Stephen Vogt before Eovaldi closed the door by striking out Ben Zobrist and getting Reddick on a double-play grounder. The Yankees regained the lead in the fourth on another two-out RBI hit – a single by Didi Gregorius. In the sixth, the A’s tied it once more on Billy Butler’s home run off Chasen Shreve, who had relieved Eovaldi with one out and struck out Reddick the batter before Butler. The move to remove Eovaldi by manager Joe Girardi was somewhat curious considering the righthander had thrown only 86 pitches. Eovaldi has not given up a home run in his past five starts.
The Yankees failed to capitalize on Semien’s league-leading 27th error that put Stephen Drew on first base to start the seventh. Drew advanced to second on an infield out but was caught off the bag and doubled up on Chase Headley’s liner to second baseman Eric Sogard.
After Butler’s home run, Shreve, Adam Warren, Justin Wilson and Betances set down 10 Oakland batters in a row before Lawrie connected in the ninth. It marked the second straight appearance in which Betances gave up a home run. He allowed a game-tying, two-run shot to the Rays’ Steven Souza last Saturday, but the Yankees rallied to win that game in the bottom of the ninth on a throwing error by reliever Brad Boxberger, yet another victimized All-Star pitcher.
The Yankees tried to get Betances off the hook and pull off another comeback victory in the ninth against Clippard, who walked Brett Gardner with one out and Alex Rodriguez with two out. After falling behind 3-0 in the count to Teixeira, Clippard came back to strike him out on a full-count changeup.
Reinforcements are on the way for the Yankees. Expected to rejoin them for Wednesday night’s game at Yankee Stadium against the A’s are center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and closer Andrew Miller. Ellsbury will return to the leadoff spot and team again with Gardner in hopes of reviving the 1-2 punch that worked out so well for the Yanks before Ellsbury went on the disabled list May 20. Miller’s return will allow Betances to return to his more familiar set-up role. In nine appearances since Miller went on the DL June 10, Betances was 0-2 with five saves in six tries and a 5.56 ERA. He allowed eight hits, including two homers, and four walks with 17 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.