Jonathan Loaisiga flops as Yankees’ rally falls short

Unfortunately for the Yankees, Jonathan Loaisiga followed with his worst performance of the season.

A lack of sticky stuff didn’t seem to bother Gerrit Cole at all.

Unfortunately for the Yankees, Jonathan Loaisiga followed with his worst performance of the season.

The right-hander allowed four runs in the eighth inning, as the Yankees blew a late lead to lose to Kansas City, 6-5, on Tuesday in The Bronx, as a ninth-inning threat fell short.

“Definitely a frustrating night for me,’’ Loaisiga said through an interpreter. “I lost the game. Cole threw a great game and I lost it for him. … It’s a tough one.”

Loaisiga’s poor outing doomed the Yankees, but so did going 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position, as they left 13 men on base.

The Yankees had taken the lead in the bottom of the seventh, when Luke Voit tripled and pinch-runner Tyler Wade scored on a wild pitch.

Jonathan Loaisiga allowed four runs in the eighth inning of the Yankees’ 6-5 loss to the Royals.
AP

After Cole delivered seven strong innings in the team’s first game with umpires checking pitchers to enforce the rule prohibiting the use of foreign substances, the Yankees seemed to have the Royals just where they wanted as they looked for a sixth win in seven games.

But Loaisiga, who entered the game with a 14 ¹/₃ scoreless-inning streak over 11 appearances, was knocked around.

With the spin rate on his curveball down significantly (2,442 RPMs compared to yearly average of 2,635), he gave up a leadoff single to Whit Merrifield and a double off the wall in left to Carlos Santana before getting Salvador Perez looking. But the Royals tied it on an infield single by Ryan O’Hearn.

Jarrod Dyson followed with a grounder to second. Wade hesitated before he threw home late and Santana beat the throw to put Kansas City up, 4-3.

Hunter Dozier and Michael A. Taylor added run-scoring singles to pad the lead.

Loaisiga said he didn’t have command of his sinker, but insisted it was not due to the new enforcement.

“Not at all,’’ Loaisiga said. “I’m used to pitching without using anything. It’s not a problem for me. … They can check me any pitch.”

DJ LeMahieu hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning to bring the Yankees to within a run, and Aaron Judge followed with a double to the wall in left-center.

However, Rougned Odor, pinch hitting for Wade, popped to first for the second out, and Giancarlo Stanton grounded out to end the inning.

Then the Yankees failed to score in the ninth.

Gio Urshela started the inning with a flare single to right. Urshela, hit in the shin earlier in the game, was lifted for pinch-runner Miguel Andujar.

Gleyber Torres struck out, but the ball got away from Perez and Urshela moved to second.

Clint Frazier struck out before Gary Sanchez was walked intentionally to bring up Brett Gardner, who popped out.

As Loaisiga said, it wasted a fine effort from Cole, who allowed just two runs in seven innings as he adjusts to baseball’s new reality.

His spin rate was also down again, but gave up just two runs in seven innings.

“I thought he pitched the way he wanted to,’’ Aaron Boone said. “Gerrit is great. He’s gonna navigate this.”

Cole struck out six and walked three, his early-season dominance not apparent since notice of the crackdown came down, but he pitched well and left with the Yankees in position to win.

The Yankees took an early lead when Voit drilled the first pitch he saw after returning from the IL into the left-field seats. His second homer of the season gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead with two outs in the bottom of the first.

Kyle Higashioka led off the second with a homer.

Cole, after not being checked by the umpires for foreign substances after either of the first two innings, gave up a run in the third and was checked following the inning. The inspection, done by home plate umpire Brian Knight and crew chief Bill Miller, was uneventful and lasted a few seconds, while the crowd booed.

The Royals tied it when Cole opened the fourth by allowing a home run to Ryan O’Hearn. Cole retired nine straight after that homer.

This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Dan Martin

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