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Yankees fall to Rockies in series finale

The Yanks failed to sweep the Rockies after poor outings by Paxton and the offense.

MLB: Colorado Rockies at New York Yankees Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees won the first two games of this three-game set against the Rockies, and came into Sunday in search of a sweep. James Paxton took the mound for New York, having recorded a quality start in each of his last three appearances. German Marquez started for Colorado, looking to rebound after allowing 11 runs in his pervious start.

Charlie Blackmon blasted a leadoff homer into the Yankees’ bullpen to get the scoring started early for the Rockies. James Paxton has now surrendered eight homers in the first inning this year, the most among American League pitchers. While his first inning ERA actually went down that inning, it’s still a gaudy 10.06 on the year. He has allowed a first-inning run in seven of his last nine starts.

The bottom half of the frame started the same way the top did: with a leadoff home run. DJ LeMahieu rifled the first pitch he saw into the right-field seats to tie the ballgame at one. He killed his former team in his first series against them. He recorded six hits in 14 at-bats, including a long ball and three RBI.

After an error and a couple of hits in the third, Paxton had himself in a jam. The Rockies loaded the bases and brought Nolan Arenado up to the plate. Working his way to a full count, Arenado lined a laser over third base and down the right-field line. Two runners scored and Colorado took a 3-1 lead. The Rox wouldn’t be done there. Ian Desmond walked to again juice the bases for the second time in the inning. David Dahl came through and blooped a single into center that scored two more. Colorado batted around and took a 5-1 lead.

After conceding a walk and a single, Paxton’s day came to an end in the fourth. He hurled 3.1 innings allowing five hits, four earned runs, three walks and six strikeouts. It is the fourth time this season he’s allowed five or more runs in a game this season, tied for the most in his seven-year career.

Chad Green would be called upon to try and limit the damage as he inherited runners on second and third. Trevor Story, however, was the first batter he faced, and he ripped a ground-rule double into Monument Park, scoring both runs. The Rockies extended their lead to 7-1.

The Yanks would get a run back in the fifth when Mike Tauchman blasted a solo shot into right field. It was his sixth dinger on the year, and it cut the Rockies’ lead to five. In his last 25 games, Tauchman is batting a .317 with a .394 OBP, three homers and 13 RBI.

Stephen Tarpley entered the game after a scoreless inning from Adam Ottavino in the sixth. The young lefty worked an easy seventh, but ran into trouble in the eighth. A double and two walks loaded the bases for the Rockies for the third time in the game. Daniel Murphy stepped up to the plate, but didn't have to take the bat off his shoulder for a run to score.

Tarpley yanked a fastball to the outside corner, but Gary Sachez was set up inside. It went off of Gary’s glove and to the backstop, scoring the runner from third. It was officially scored a passed ball, but it was not an easy play for Sanchez to make. Murphy struck out to end the inning, but they would take an 8-2 lead with the Yanks down to their final six outs.

German Marquez would be replaced after seven dominant frames from the starter. He allowed just three hits, two of which were solo homers, struck out five, and had the Yanks off-balance all game long.

Scott Oberg entered out of the ‘pen for Rox, but the Bombers wouldn’t fall without a fight. Tauchman walked to lead off the eighth inning, and a couple batters later, Aaron Hicks obliterated a two-run bomb into the upper-deck in right.

This trimmed the deficit to four, but they couldn’t string together a rally. The Rockies won by the final score of 8-4. Despite the loss, the Yankees still won the series, and will fly to Minnesota for three games to take on the AL Central leading Twins starting tomorrow!