The Yankees didn’t do anything to put to bed the “they can’t hit with runners in scoring position” narrative Tuesday night.
In fact, they only furthered it in a 3-2 loss in 11 innings to the equally offensively challenged A’s in front of an announced crowd of 31,952 at the Stadium.
The Yankees (5-7) came in off a series against Seattle in which they went 1-for-35 with runners in scoring position and 4 for their last 57 overall. Tuesday night they went 1-for-7.
The A’s (7-7), who came in 5 for their last 40 with RISP, got the big hit in the 11th when Mark Canha slapped Johnny Barbato’s two-out, 0-and-2 fastball to left to bring in Jed Lowrie from third. Lowrie started the rally with a one-out double. It was the first run in six appearances allowed by Barbato.
Ryan Madson pitched a perfect 11th for his fifth save, starting the inning with a strikeout of Alex Rodriguez, who did have two hits, including an RBI single.
Michael Pineda, who had a rough first start of the season, pitched well for a second straight game, though he failed to hold the 2-1 lead he took into the sixth.
The righthander allowed two runs, seven hits and one walk over six innings. He struck out seven.
A’s lefthander Eric Surkamp, with a fastball that only occasionally reaches 90 mph, allowed two runs and seven hits over 5 2⁄3 innings for the A’s.
After Pineda came the usual excellence from the Yankees bullpen as Chasen Shreve, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller pitched scoreless innings.
Though Betances allowed two hits, he struck out two, giving him 17 strikeouts over seven innings this season.
The Yankees got their first runner in scoring position with two outs in the first when Carlos Beltran doubled into the gap in left-center, improving the rightfielder to 7-for-14 this home stand. Mark Teixeira walked, bringing A-Rod to the plate. Rod riguez, in a 1-for-20 skid, got ahead 2-and-0 before lining a flat 90-mph fastball to left for an RBI single that made it 1-0.
The A’s came right back in the second. Lowrie singled with one out and, after Khris Davis flew to center, Pineda fell behind the No. 9 hitter, Marcus Semien, 3-and-0. Semien lined the next pitch he saw, a 92-mph fastball, to left for an RBI single to tie it at 1.
The Yankees squandered a chance to retake the lead in the third. Brett Gardner led off with a double to right-center, improving him to 8-for-13 on the homestand. That would be it, however, as Starlin Castro popped to first, Beltran flied to right and Teixeira took a called third strike, on an 87-mph fastball, to end the inning.
Pineda came back with his first perfect inning of the night, an 11-pitch fourth that left him at 67 pitches.
The righthander had to pitch out of trouble in the fifth when Billy Burns tripled over the head of Beltran with one out. With the infield in, Pineda struck out Chris Coghlan with a slider and got Josh Reddick to fly to right to end the threat.
The Yankees went ahead again in the bottom half. Didi Gregorius, in a 1-for-13 slide, led off with a single. The shortstop got picked off, but Gardner worked a walk and Castro ripped a double to left, giving him a 13-for-28 start at the Stadium. Beltran’s sacrifice fly to right brought in Gardner to make it 2-1.
Danny Valencia led off the sixth with a drive to the gap in left-center. Gardner, after a long run, had the ball glance off his glove and skip away, allowing Valencia to pull into third with a triple. Pineda struck out Stephen Vogt with a slider, but Lowrie, swinging first pitch, knocked a slider to right to bring in Valencia, tying it at 2.