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Yankees 2, Rangers 4: Offense can’t cover for rare Michael King mistakes

King gave up the lead following a good Jordan Montgomery start, and Giancarlo Stanton’s homer was the sole source of offense

Texas Rangers v New York Yankees - Game Two Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

After winning the first game on Sunday thanks to Gleyber Torres’ walk-off home run, the Yankees entered game two looking for the doubleheader sweep. Unfortunately, the offense once again couldn’t get much going, and Michael King uncharacteristically blew a Yankees lead to keep the sweep away from New York.

Jordan Montgomery seemed like a prime candidate to keep the Rangers’ offense stymied after Gerrit Cole shut them down, and he was successful to start the first, striking out Marcus Semien and working around an Adolis Garcia single. It looked like Corey Seager had hit into an inning-inding double play — YES went to commercial and the Yankees returned to the dugout — but the former Dodger was ruled safe at first upon review.

The Rangers countered with Glenn Otto, the Yankees draft pick who was part of the trade package they sent to Texas last season for Joey Gallo. The Yankees looked like they might get their scoring started earlier than they did in game one after getting Aaron Hicks and Anthony Rizzo on base, but Giancarlo Stanton hit into a double play to end the first. Squandered opportunities by the hitters would be a running theme.

After Montgomery worked a quick and clean second, the Yankees again threatened to score with one out following a Josh Donaldson infield single and an Isiah Kiner-Falefa walk, but Estevan Florial hit into a force out to erase IFK and Jose Trevino struck out. The bottom of the lineup continues to struggle.

Monty kept rolling through the third, picking off Charlie Culberson after he reached as the sole baserunner of the half-inning on an infield single.

The baserunners failing to come around and score for the Yankees had the early game feeling like it might be the third straight contest to feature offensive frustration. Hicks walked yet again to lead off the third, but Aaron Judge struck out looking and Rizzo hit a groundout to first, continuing the trend.

The wind and the unjuiced baseballs had most fly balls looking flat all day, but somehow Stanton launched a home run 461 feet to left center field. I’m thinking he might be pretty strong?

Montgomery continued working efficiently, finishing the fifth having thrown only 61 pitches. The Rangers had never really threatened to score until Eli White sent a solo home run into the right-field porch to lead off the sixth. The inning didn’t spiral, however, as he quickly got the three outs he needed, including a swinging strikeout of Garcia, to leave it 2-1 Yankees.

Garrett Richards replaced Otto in the bottom of the sixth. Otto’s lone blemish was the Stanton home run — he only allowed two hits through five, struck out two, and allowed three walks. Richards worked a one-two-three-inning.

After Jonah Heim led off the seventh with a double, Aaron Boone somewhat surprisingly removed Montgomery from the game with only 71 pitches thrown. He was replaced by Michael King, who has been virtually automatic so far this season. Unfortunately, the seventh was a rare bad inning for the ace reliever.

King walked Kole Calhoun, but then got Nathaniel Lowe to strike out for the first out. Andy Ibáñez hit into a force out that moved Heim to third base. With Brad Miller at bat pinch hitting for Culberson, King uncorked a wild pitch that brought in Heim to tie the game. Miller then lifted a long home run to give the Rangers a 4-2 lead in the blink of an eye.

The Yankees tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh but fell short. IKF walked following a Torres ground out. Marwin Gonzalez, pinch-hitting for Florial, struck out. Trevino ended a long hitless stretch with a bloop single into left field, followed by yet another Hicks walk. That brought up Judge with the bases loaded, but sadly he hit a short fly out to left and the Yankees didn’t get any runs.

King stayed on to strike out Semien for the first out of the eighth. Boone then replaced him with Wandy Peralta after allowing a single to Adolis García. The left-hander easily finished the inning.

Rizzo, Stanton, and Donaldson went down in order against Brett Martin in the bottom of the eighth. After Peralta pitched around a Calhoun single in the Texas half, the Yankees went up against Texas closer Joe Barlow. While game one hero Torres led the inning off with a walk, IFK struck out and pinch-hitters Gallo and DJ LeMahieu failed to cash in to close the books on the 4-2 loss.

The pressure will be on New York to win this series tomorrow and not let a likely sub-.500 team take two out of three from them at Yankee Stadium. Nestor Cortes will get the ball for first pitch at 1:05pm ET, with free agent signing Jon Gray making the start for Texas.

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