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Relievers allow three home runs as Yankees are swept by A’s

New York Yankees relief pitcher Chasen Shreve

New York Yankees relief pitcher Chasen Shreve returns to the dugout during the seventh inning after giving up two solo back-to-back home runs to the Oakland Athletics in an MLB baseball game at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, April 21, 2016. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

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.


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