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Yankees 3, Astros 6: Bullpen struggles costly once again

For the second straight day, the Yankees couldn’t hold a late lead.

New York Yankees v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

This recap could easily be a rerun of yesterday’s. Change the score. Rewrite the paragraphs about how the runs were scored. Replace the pitcher’s names, and it would be about right.

For the second straight day, the Yankees’ offense had an okay day against a really good pitcher. For the second straight day, they were in a position to win with seven outs to go. For the second straight day, they lose the game.

The Astros mounted another late rally against the Yankees’ bullpen, eventually winning this game by a score of 6-3. For the second straight day, the disappointment and consternation about the bullpen and its usage can continue.

Before any of that happened, the Yankees got on the board pretty quickly. Luke Voit opened the scoring when he hit a solo home run with two outs in the first

That lead would last one inning, but not much longer than that. Jonathan Loaisiga had a good first inning, striking out the side, but he got into some trouble in the second. Michael Brantley led off the inning with a double. That was followed by a Carlos Correa walk, during which a wild pitch allowed Brantley to go to third. Loaisiga then got an out on a fly ball, but it was deep enough for Brantley to score.

The Astros then took the lead in the third. After the lead off hitter was retired, Jose Altuve homered for the second straight day. Houston put a couple more runners on, but Loaisiga again held them to just one run in the inning.

His day would be done after that. Loaisiga allowed two runs on four hits and two walks in three innings, striking out five.

Throughout all of that, Cole had bounced back after the Voit homer and had settled into a groove. Then the Yankees rallied their way back into the lead in the sixth.

Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge kicked things off with two-straight walks. Voit then grounded into a force out, leaving runners at the corner, and bringing Gary Sanchez to the plate. Sanchez’s hot streak of late had been predicated mainly on home run, but this time he ripped a double to left. Not only did Gardner score, but Voit came around too, putting the Yankees back in front.

That lead also wasn’t destined to last as the Astros mounted a rally in the bottom of the seventh. Jonathan Holder had cleaned things up in the sixth, after Luis Cessa put a runner on. Holder came back out for the seventh, started it with two straight outs, and looked on his way to a good outing. Then, Clint Frazier’s attempt at a diving catch for the third out failed, leading to Alex Bregman reaching on a double. Brantley then delivered with a game-tying double, erasing the Yankees’ lead again.

Even though the Yankees weren’t winning after seven innings, they very easily could have been losing. They had managed to get out without things going from bad to worse several times. Then things came crashing down in the eighth.

With Chad Green on the mound, Yuli Gurriel singled to lead off the inning. Green then issued two walks, loading the bases with just one out. Shockingly walking the bottom two hitters in the order didn’t work out. George Springer dealt the big blow, scoring two runs with a double. An Altuve sac fly gave them one extra run, not that they would have needed it.

Roberto Osuna finished things off with a 1-2-3 ninth, and the Yankees dropped a second straight game in disappointing fashion.

Box score.