Even with the Yankees offense stepping up for the second consecutive night, the Cincinnati Reds took the rubber match 7-6 in 10 innings as New York dropped its fourth game in its last five.
The loss is sure to raise some concern with the MLB All-Star break next week and a three-game set with the rival Boston Red Sox starting on Friday. It was the Yankees bullpen that proved to be their Achilles heel against the Reds on Thursday night.
Jonathan Loáisiga came into the game in his first relief appearance after being taken off the 15-day IL in the eighth inning and gave up three runs on four hits. Lucas Luetge then gave up three runs in the top of the 10th inning after New York had managed to tie things up in the eighth.
“I liked our chances going into extra innings there,” Aaron Judge said. “Especially with how this team handles big situations like that and it gave us an opportunity to win the game, but we just fell a little short. The Reds battled their butts off this whole series and it went back and forth, but they pulled that one out.”
Joey Votto doubled to drive in the go-ahead run in the second at-bat of the inning and a Tyler Stephenson double to left made it a two-run game for Cincinnati. A Donovan Solano line drive scored Stephenson from second base to make it a 7-4 game.
The Yankees teased their third comeback of the night when Matt Carpenter hit a two-run home run to start the bottom half of the inning. But reliever Dauri Moreta was able to shut the Yankees offense down after coming in halfway through the 10th to close out the game.
The New York loss comes amid plenty of curiosity about what the Yankees will do before the trade deadline. The Yankees are expected to be buyers at the trade deadline as Brian Cashman looks to upgrade the lineup and the pitching staff.
The Yankees were dealt a setback with Luis Severino being placed on the 15-day IL before the game.
“It’s a big hole,” Judge said about losing Severino. “He’s been pitching the ball well this year, but it’s 15 days. I feel like that’s a whole lifetime to figure that out. A little time on the IL to rest up. … Hopefully, it’s nothing serious. Hopefully, we get him back after 15 days, 20 days whatever it is and he’s back to who he is. We got a lot of good guys in this clubhouse that will pick him up.”
Loáisiga said that he felt physically well when he came into the game in the eighth after returning from injury.
“Things didn’t work out the way I wanted,” he said about the relief appearance. “Definitely trying to get ground balls there for double plays.”
Nestor Cortes gave an all-star outing in his final start before he left for Hollywood and the MLB All-Star Game next week. The lefty ace gave up just one run on four hits and struck out four on Thursday night.
It wasn’t until the top of the fifth inning that a runner finally crossed the plate after Cortes got himself into a jam. The Yankee starter got Solano to fly out to right field to start the inning, but Nick Senzel singled and Stuart Fairchild walked.
Jonathan India was hit by a pitch to load the bases and a sacrifice fly by Brandon Drury drove in the game’s first run.
“Whether I go four innings or I go eight innings, I always want the ball for the next inning and keep doing what I was doing tonight,” Cortes said about his start.
Reds starter Luis Castillo carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Anthony Rizzo’s line drive double to the right field wall ended the bid. Aaron Judge had walked the at-bat before and Rizzo’s hit moved him into scoring position.
Giancarlo Stanton grounded to second which allowed Judge the room he needed to score and tie the game at one.
The 1-1 tie lasted until the eighth when Loáisiga came into the game. It was a rough 0.2 inning of work for the righty, who gave up three runs on four hits.
India and Drury each singled to kick off the inning and two batters later Joey Votto gave the Reds the 2-1 lead off a line drive to left. Kyle Farmer extended the lead with a two-run line drive to right that allowed Drury and Votto to score.