Michael Pineda has really loved pitching at Yankees Stadium this year. In fact, he entered this game with a 1.92 ERA at home versus a 6.25 ERA on the road. Unfortunately, Pineda’s numbers at home came back down to Earth today. Pineda was awful from the get-go, and the lineup was asleep for the first half of the game. The offense eventually woke up and put the Yankees back in the game, but their efforts were too little, too late.
Wasting no time at all, the Rangers put up three runs in the first inning after Delino DeShields doubled, Elvis Andrus knocked in a RBI single, and Adrian Beltre hit a two-run homer to left field. Pineda gave up a three-run bomb to Shin-Soo Choo in the second inning, making the score 6-0. For good measure, Pineda surrendered yet another home run in the fourth inning to Drew Robinson. That would be the Rangers’ final run of the game, but the Yankees found themselves down seven runs early.
The Yankees finally got on the board in the fifth inning. Mason Williams hit a leadoff single, and it looked like Austin Romine’s swinging strikeout would end the inning, but he ended up reaching on a wild pitch. Aaron Judge kept the inning alive with a RBI single, and Gary Sanchez followed with a three-run shot into Monument Park.
Things got interesting in the seventh after Ronald Torreyes homered to left field. Judge and Sanchez worked back-to-back walks, and Didi Gregorius just missed a home run. The ball he hit was just outside the foul pole in right. Instead, Gregorius hit an RBI single to bring the Yankees within one run. Sanchez was tagged out running to third base to end the inning.
The bullpen has struggled recently, but they did keep the Yankees in the game today. Tyler Webb, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, and Aroldis Chapman combined to pitch five scoreless innings with seven strikeouts.
Aside from the miserable loss, the Yankees were also bit by the injury bug again. In the third inning, Aaron Hicks singled, but he was slow out of the box. In the following inning, he seemed to really labor to chase down a ball in the outfield. The booth finally announced that Tyler Austin had been replaced at first base by Austin Romine and started theorizing that Austin had re-injured his foot while sliding into second base earlier in the game. Five minutes later, the booth realized that Austin was actually in right field, and that Mason Williams had moved to center. Hicks was removed from the game with a reported oblique injury. He is being placed on the DL and will miss three to four weeks.
Tonight the Yankees will fly to Chicago to kick off a series again the White Sox tomorrow. Jordan Montgomery is expected to make the start opposite of David Holmberg at 8:10 EST.