The Yankees want Michael Pineda to be unhittable, not inscrutable. That's why they're probably going to be spending the next few days trying to figure out why the big righthander was pasted for 11 hits and eight runs in 31/3 innings by the putrid Phillies Monday night in an 11-8 loss at Yankee Stadium.
Pineda's effort was his second bad one in three outings and follows a poor performance by Masahiro Tanaka in a loss to the Tigers on Sunday. The Yankees need Pineda and Tanaka to be their 1-2 punch. Instead, they got a punch to the gut on consecutive days.
Pineda (8-4) saw his ERA balloon from 3.54 to 4.25. On May 10, it was 2.72 after he struck out 16 in a win over Baltimore.
Perhaps as alarming was that Pineda, who carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his last outing against Miami, showed none of that dominance. This time, he didn't strike out a batter.
The outing before that, pitching on 11 days' rest after a skipped start, Pineda gave up six runs (five earned) in 41/3 innings to Baltimore.
The Phillies (25-47) came in with baseball's worst record. They received a 4-for-5, two- homer, five-RBI performance from rookie third baseman Maikel Franco as they pounded the Yankees for 18 hits.
Franco had a solo home run in the first inning, a single in the second, a two-run single in the fourth and a two-run home run off Chris Capuano in the sixth.
Trailing 1-0, the Yankees scored twice in the first on a sacrifice fly by Brian McCann and two-out RBI double by Carlos Beltran, who had three hits. But the Phillies scored three runs in the third and four in the fourth to knock out Pineda.
Ryan Howard had a two-run single in the third and another run scored on a double play as Philadelphia took a 4-2 lead.
Capuano warmed up as early as the third inning, but Joe Girardi tried to nurse Pineda through a troublesome fourth until he was forced to make a change.
The Phillies opened the inning with three singles to load the bases. Pineda got Ben Revere to ground into a forceout at the plate, giving the Yankees hope of an escape.
Unfortunately for Pineda, Cesar Hernandez doubled in a pair of runs and Franco followed with a two-run single to make it 8-2. Pineda's night was done.
The Yankees closed to within 8-5 in the fourth when Brett Gardner (4-for-4, walk) smacked a three-run home run to right off Kevin Correia, who lasted only four innings. Gardner (eight homers) previously bunted twice for hits, once to the first-base side and once to the third-base side.
In his last four games, Gardner is 11-for-18 with two homers and six RBIs. He has had four hits twice and three hits once.
The Yankees seemed poised for the full comeback when they had runners on second and third with one out in the fifth against lefthander Jake Diekman after Alex Rodriguez walked and Beltran doubled. But Garrett Jones -- subbing for the injured Mark Teixeira (neck) -- fouled out to third and Didi Gregorius struck out.
Franco, a rare Phillies bright spot, hit his second home run of the game and ninth of the season in the sixth to make it 10-5.
McCann led off the seventh with his 11th home run to bring the Yankees to within 10-6.