The Yankees’ offense of late has resembled John Kasich’s bid for the Republican nomination: plenty of daily verbiage about a momentum swing on the near horizon and a vastly different result when it’s time to keep score.
It occurred again Thursday night for the Yankees, who mostly were shut down during soft-tossing lefthander Rich Hill’s six innings in a 7-3 loss at the Stadium that completed a three-game Oakland sweep.
The Yankees (5-9), who had eight hits and struck out 14 times — 10 against Hill — have lost three straight and seven of their last eight. They have scored 18 runs in the eight games.
It was 2-2 heading into the seventh when lefthander Chasen Shreve took over for Luis Severino (two runs and seven hits allowed in six innings). Two pitches later, it was 4-2.
The first was a 91-mph fastball that Khris Davis hammered to center for his first homer of the season. The next was a 92-mph fastball that Coco Crisp sent into the second deck in leftfield for his second home run. Shreve had not allowed a run in his first six outings of the season.
Johnny Barbato allowed a two-out, two-run homer by Chris Coghlan in the eighth to make it 6-3. Mark Canha, who had hit a two-out homer off Severino to tie it at 2-2 in the fifth, added a sacrifice fly in the eighth off Kirby Yates.
The Yankees had gotten within 4-3 in the seventh when pinch hitter Brett Gardner led off against Fernando Rodriguez with a walk and Jacoby Ellsbury and Starlin Castro delivered back-to-back two-out singles.
A Yankee club that came in 4-for-its-last-58 with runners in scoring position performed better, but only in comparison to that previous hideousness, going 3-for-11. The Yankees left nine on base. Their two runs before the seventh came courtesy of Aaron Hicks’ bloop RBI single in the second and a 45-foot dribbler by Austin Romine that went for a two-out RBI single in the fourth.
Hill, a Yankee in 2014 who came in 1-2 with a 4.15 ERA, struck out the side in a 13-pitch first, then gifted the Yankees a run in the second. He started by walking Mark Teixeira, in a 3-for-32 slump, on four pitches and walking Alex Rodriguez, 4-for-his-last-29 coming in, on seven pitches. Chase Headley ripped a liner back up the middle that Hill got a glove on, which allowed second baseman Jed Lowrie to complete a 1-4-3 putout that gave the Yankees runners at second and third. Hicks, off to a 1-for-20 start and 0-for-his-last-17, dumped a single to center to make it 1-0, representing his first hit in 14 at-bats against lefty pitching.
The A’s tied it in the fourth as Reddick, 4-for-51 in his career at the Stadium, golfed a 2-and-2 slider down the rightfield line for a double and Lowrie followed with an RBI single to right. Stephen Vogt made it three hard-hit balls in a row when he lined a 96-mph fastball to left-center for a single, but Severino escaped without further damage.
After retiring Teixeira to start the bottom of the fourth, Hill walked Rodriguez again. A-Rod decided to run and Hill had him picked off, but he threw wildly to first, putting Rodriguez on third. Headley got ahead 3-and-0 before striking out on a full-count curveball, but Romine got the run in by topping a curveball down the third-base line for a single.
Severino retired the first two batters of the fifth but hung a 2-and-2 slider that Canha took the other way over the wall in right for his second homer of the season, which made it 2-2.