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Ivan Nova’s struggles continue as Yankees fall to Rockies

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi takes the

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi takes the ball from New York Yankees starting pitcher Ivan Nova during the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies in an MLB baseball game at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, June 21, 2016. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Ivan Nova certainly isn’t alone on the list of what ails the Yankees, but it is becoming a fair question to ask how much longer they can afford to send him to the mound.

The righthander continues to be a wreck out there, and he laid another egg Tuesday night in an 8-4 loss to the Rockies in front of 34,760 at the Stadium.

Nova, who came in 2-3 with a 6.30 ERA in his previous five starts, allowed six runs (five earned) and eight hits in four-plus innings.

The Rockies had 15 hits in winning their third straight this season against the Yankees (34-36). Colorado also beat Nova around for five runs and 10 hits last Wednesday in Denver.

Leadoff man Charlie Blackmon hit two homers for the Rockies (34-36), who hit three overall after pounding five in their previous game, Monday night at Miami. Nolan Arenado hit his MLB-best 21st homer in the sixth off Nick Goody.

Colorado righthander Chad Bettis (6-5) allowed four runs (two earned) and eight hits over six innings. He has two victories since May 17, both against the Yankees.

Three pitches in, the Rockies had the lead. Blackmon drove a hanging, 1-and-1 curveball high off the rightfield foul pole for his ninth homer.

DJ LeMahieu, who along with Carlos Gonzalez and Arenado had three hits, lashed a single to right. Arenado reached on an infield hit (he initially was called out by first-base umpire Laz Diaz, but the call was overturned on replay). Gonzalez followed with an RBI single, with the runners each advancing a base as the ball skidded under Carlos Beltran’s glove for an error, the start of a rough night overall for the Yankees’ rightfielder.

After Trevor Story fouled out to first, Daniel Descalso reached on an infield single to load the bases. Starlin Castro made a diving stop on Mark Reynolds’ grounder back up the middle, with the force play allowing Arenado score to make it 3-0.

The Yankees got one back in the bottom half as Brett Gardner led off with a single and went to third on Beltran’s infield single that resulted in an error by Bettis covering first base. Alex Rodriguez hit into a 5-4-3 double play, which brought in Gardner to make it 3-1.

The Rockies pushed their lead back to three runs in the second. Blackmon reached with one out when first baseman Rob Refsnyder booted a grounder for an error, and Blackmon went to third on LeMahieu’s single to center. Arenado’s sacrifice fly to left made it 4-1.

Didi Gregorius doubled with one out in the bottom half of the inning and came in when LeMahieu, the second baseman, butchered Aaron Hicks’ routine grounder that would have ended the inning, making it 4-2.

Colorado tacked on in the fourth on Blackmon’s second homer, which came on a full-count pitch, pushing the lead to 5-2. The Rockies knocked Nova (5-5, 5.18) out of the game in the fifth.

Gonzalez smoked one to rightfield that froze Beltran, who barely moved as it sailed over his head for a leadoff double. After Story walked, Joe Girardi brought on Goody. The righty struck out Descalso looking but Rey nolds, a former Yankee, lined one over Gardner’s head for an RBI double that made it 6-2. Goody did strike out Ryan Raburn and Tony Wolters to keep it there.

The Yankees cut it to 6-3 in the bottom of the fifth on Rodriguez’s sacrifice fly to deep left. Beltran for some reason tagged and tried to go to second on the play and was thrown out to end the inning. Gardner saw Beltran going for second and sprinted across the plate before Beltran was tagged out.

Arenado’s two-run blast off Goody in the sixth made it 8-3. Gregorius’ RBI triple in the sixth made it 8-4, but he was stranded at third as Chase Headley and Hicks struck out.


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