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Bad pitching and shaky defense doom Yankees in lopsided loss

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Masahiro Tanaka didn’t have it tonight, but neither did any reliever not named Zach Britton.

MLB: Texas Rangers at New York Yankees Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

After winning four games in a row, the Yankees snapped that streak tonight thanks to bad pitching and shaky defense. Masahiro Tanaka had pitched really well since coming off of the disabled list in early July, but that ended tonight, too. Yankees relievers didn’t fare much better. The offense attempted to claw their way back into the game. However, the Rangers just kept pulling further and further ahead.

Neither team was able to get anything going through the first three innings. It was the Rangers who finally got on the board first. Elvis Andrus singled to lead off the fourth, then Tanaka gave up an obligatory home run to Adrian Beltre. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t be the only long ball that he surrendered during this game. With one out, Ronald Guzman homered to right to give Texas a 3-0 lead.

The fifth inning was also a struggle. Tanaka issued back-to-back walks to Drew Robinson and Shin-Soo Choo, then Andrus doubled to bring them both home. For whatever reason, Aaron Boone decided to bring Tanaka back out to start the sixth and he promptly gave up yet another solo shot to Guzman. That was enough to bring his disappointing night to the end.

A.J. Cole took over at that point, and after a strikeout and ground out, that third out eluded him. Robinson worked another walk, and Choo doubled. The center fielder might have been out at third, but Miguel Andujar was unable to hold onto the throw. Instead, Odor came to the plate and knocked an RBI single. The Yankees had a chance to get the third out once again as Odor got caught in a rundown while trying to advance to second, but Didi Gregorius’ throw to Luke Voit hit the runner in the helmet. Choo scored on the error to make it an 8-1 game. Andrus kept the inning alive with another RBI before Beltre grounded out to end the frame.

The Rangers tacked on another run in the seventh as Guzman went deep for the third time. Chad Green allowed two more runs to score during his inning of work. The only real positive for Yankees pitchers was the performance by Zach Britton. The lefty struck out the side to finish the top of the ninth inning.

As for the offense, they were stuck playing catchup all game. Every time they added a few runs, the Rangers added a few more. Brett Gardner started things off by hitting a solo home run into the bullpen. With two on in the sixth, the Yankees caught an unlucky break when Andujar hit a ball that bounced over the left field wall. That forced Gregorius to stay at third, but Luke Voit finally made himself useful by driving in two runs.

Austin Romine hit a leadoff dinger in the seventh to make it a 10-5 game. Our old friend Chris Martin took over the following inning, and the Yankees were able to get to him. Gregorius and Andujar hit back-to-back singles, then Romine knocked a ball past a diving Guzman to make it a 12-7 game. The bottom of the ninth started with a walk to Aaron Hicks, and ended with Gregorius popping up in foul territory. It just wasn’t their night.

It looks like it is going to be a rainy weekend, but weather permitting they’ll be back at it again tomorrow at 1:05 ET. Lance Lynn is poised to take the mound opposite of Drew Hutchison. Hopefully Yankees pitchers will have a better day.