When Brian Cashman parachuted into Sahlen Field to watch his free-falling Yankees on Monday he had to understand how deep in the wilderness it was.
Still, as the GM witnessed the Yankees not only flush a four-run lead in the bottom of the sixth when the Blue Jays reached double figures in runs against Chad Green and Adam Ottavino he had to be shocked.
As bad as the Yankees have been lately — and putrid is a good way to describe them — the 12-6 loss was a new low in a season that is smothered in disappointment and has a chance to end without a spot in the expanded postseason.
The drubbing was the 21-20 Yankees’ 14th loss in their past 19 games and fourth straight. It also dropped them two games back of the Blue Jays in the race for the second place in the AL East that carries an automatic ticket to the postseason.
Making it really sting was that a lineup that scored five runs in the last three games against the inept Orioles staff provided Jordan Montgomery with a 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks to back-to-back homers by Luke Voit and Aaron Hicks off Hyun Jin Ryu. Miguel Andujar added a solo homer in the fourth that broke a 2-2 tie. Two more runs in the fifth and another in the sixth gave the Yankees a 6-2 lead entering the home half of the frame.
Ten runs later, the Yankees looked like a minor league team playing in a Triple-A stadium, which Sahlen Field is. It was the first of 10 tilts with the Blue Jays, who moved to within 4 ½ games of the AL East-leading Rays. The third-place Yankees are 6 ½ lengths off the pace.
Holding a four-run lead entering the home sixth, the Yankees summoned Green and he was bad, but good in comparison to what Ottavino did after Green was removed.
Green walked two of the five batters he faced and gave up a single. First baseman Luke Voit’s fielding error didn’t help, either.
Green walked two of the first three Blue Jays and gave up a single to Randal Grichuk that loaded the bases for Rowdy Tellez. Voit booted his ground ball that scored Santiago Espinal.
Ottavino faced six batters, didn’t retire one of them, and gave up a grand slam to Danny Jansen, the No. 9 hitter who started the game hitting .148. The blast upped the Blue Jays’ lead to 12-6.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s single off Ottavino plated two. Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. delivered an RBI single and Travis Shaw drove in two runs to give the Blue Jays an 8-6 lead with one out.
“I definitely feel as a team we have been pressing because we want to score runs,’’ Hicks said before the sickening loss. “We want that one blowout game where it is absolutely out of reach and we haven’t been able to do that.’’
Clint Frazier’s two-out double in the fifth upped the Yankees’ lead to 5-2 and snapped a team-wide 0-for-17 slide with runners in scoring position.
DJ LeMahieu and Voit singled with one out and thanks to an aggressive send by third base coach Phil Nevin each runner scored.
Frazier’s two-base hit into the left-field corner easily scored LeMahieu and Nevin waved the plodding Voit home several steps from third and he slid safely to make it 5-2. Frazier went to third on the throw home and a walk to Gleyber Torres put runners at the corners for Andujar, who struck out.
Andujar broke a 2-2 tie with his first homer of the season in the fourth with one out off Ryu.
After getting spanked by the Rays in his last start when he gave up three runs and four hits and didn’t get out of the first inning, Montgomery was better Monday night but nowhere near good.
Handed a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Voit and Hicks hit back-to-back home runs, Montgomery gave up and an RBI double to Tellez in the first inning and a run-scoring single to Espinal in the second.
Montgomery struggled in every inning. He had to pitch out of a one-out jam in the third when the Blue Jays had runners on first and second and did. However, when he walked Jansen with one out in the fourth Montgomery was replaced by Jonathan Holder.
He created a problem by walking Cavan Biggio but got Grichuk on a routine fly to right and struck out Tellez.