“The reality is we still have a chance, and we got to kind of prepare and compete every day with a mind that today’s the day we turn it around,” said the manager, who addressed his team following a Friday beatdown.
But Saturday was not the day the Yankees turned it around. Instead, Boston won, 8-1, as the pinstripers dropped their seventh straight game despite having their ace on the mound at home.
Gerrit Cole, working on a Cy Young-caliber campaign, could not bail the Yankees out following a loss, something he’s done all season. Rather, the right-hander found himself in trouble in the second inning, when a couple of singles and a walk set the stage for a Luis Urías grand slam.
Urías, Boston’s No. 9 hitter, had just two home runs prior to the at-bat against Cole, but he also hit a grand slam in his last game on Aug. 17. Urías became the first Red Sox player to hit a grand slam in back-to-back games played since Jimmie Foxx did it in 1940, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
The Red Sox got to Cole again in the fourth inning when Connor Wong hit a two-run homer to right. Cole’s afternoon ended with that inning. All six of the runs he surrendered were earned, and he also gave up seven hits while walking one and striking out four over 86 pitches.
He now has a 3.03 ERA after starting the day with a 2.76 mark.
Cole hasn’t had many clunkers this season, but the Yankees’ lineup certainly has. Such was the case on Saturday, as the aptly-named Kutter Crawford didn’t permit a hit until Aaron Judge smoked a solo home run in the sixth inning.
Crawford didn’t make any other mistakes, though. He completed six innings, walked two and struck out five before handing the ball to Boston’s bullpen.
The Yankees have scored just seven runs in their last five games. They totaled two hits on Saturday after getting one-hit on Tuesday.
The Bombers had a chance to get something going in the second inning when Giancarlo Stanton drew a leadoff walk. But Isiah Kiner-Falefa, one of the Yankees’ most consistent hitters, tried to bunt the slugger over to second base. That plan failed, as Kiner-Falefa popped the bunt up to Wong. The catcher then doubled Stanton off at first.
The Yankees were already facing a four-run deficit at that point. And even if Kiner-Falefa had laid the bunt down, Stanton is incredibly limited in his mobility.
The Yankees are now three games under .500 with 39 games left to play. They woke up on Saturday seven games out of the final wild-card spot, which the Mariners occupied. The Blue Jays were a half-game out, while the Red Sox were three back.
Toronto and Seattle play night games on Saturday.
Having already been swept by the Braves this week, the Yankees will try to avoid more brooms on Sunday with a win over the Red Sox.
Clarke Schmidt, coming off a disappointing outing of his own, will start for the Yankees. The Red Sox had yet to announce their Sunday starter at the time of publication.