o far this season, the Yankees are not ready for prime time.
BOSTON — So far this season, the Yankees are not ready for prime time.
While they’ve won their share of games and series against mediocre teams like the Royals — and even good ones like the Athletics — when it comes to the Red Sox and Rays, the Yankees have been at a loss.
The trend continued in Friday’s 5-3 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park, their fourth defeat in four meetings with their rivals this season. They’re also just 5-8 versus Tampa Bay.
“We’ve got to come out and grab it,’’ manager Aaron Boone said. “If we’re gonna be the team we expect to be, we’ve got to play better against the top teams in the division.”
It certainly had the feel of a critical game, with a sellout crowd of 36,869 extra energized by a pregame ceremony honoring Dustin Pedroia. But Domingo German had his third subpar outing in a row, giving up three first-inning runs.
While the Yankees came back in the second, they fell behind for good in the third and a ninth-inning rally fell short.
“It was cool to be back in this environment,’’ Boone said. “Coming here last year with no fans, it was just different. … Today, again, felt really big.”
Especially in the ninth, when Gio Urshela and Miguel Andujar led off with singles, but Clint Frazier struck out and DJ LeMahieu grounded into a double play to end it.
Making the night worse, Zack Britton was forced from the game with a hamstring injury in the bottom of the eighth. He walked off the field immediately after a 2-2 pitch to Hunter Renfroe. He just returned after missing the start of the season following spring training elbow surgery.
But the Yankees’ troubles began earlier, as German got in immediate trouble again.
After pitching well against Boston on June 6, he has given up 15 runs — 14 earned — in just 12 ¹/₃ innings over three starts. And German hasn’t gotten through five innings in any of them.
German barely made it through the first inning Friday.
He gave up back-to-back singles to start the game before Xander Bogaerts hit a two-run double with one out. Hunter Renfroe added an RBI double later in the inning to make it 3-0, which led to the Yankees to send Luis Cessa out to the bullpen to start warming up.
The Yankees tied it in the second, loading the bases against left-hander Martin Perez with a leadoff walk by Giancarlo Stanton, a single by Luke Voit and an Urshela grounder that was booted by Bogaerts at short.
With two out, Clint Frazier walked to force in the first run and a two-run single by LeMahieu made it 3-3.
They were in position to take the lead in the third with two on and one out before the struggling Gleyber Torres grounded into a double play.
German got into more trouble in the bottom of the inning. He walked J.D. Martinez and then threw a wild pitch to move Martinez to second.
With one out, Rafael Devers hit a slow comebacker that German booted for an error, putting runners on the corners.
Renfroe hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Martinez and the unearned run put the Red Sox up, 4-3.
The Yankees were in prime position to tie the game again in the fourth when Urshela led off with a double and Andujar singled to right, but third base coach Phil Nevin ill-advisedly sent Urshela, who was thrown out at the plate and they didn’t score in the inning.
“I felt like that was the turning point in the game,’’ said Nevin, who recently returned from a lengthy COVID-19 battle. “That one’s on me. … It was just a bad call in the wrong spot.”
But the Yankee offense, after scoring three runs in the second, was shut down after Perez left.
Hirokazu Sawamura tossed 1 ¹/₃ scoreless innings before Garrett Whitlock — whom the Red Sox plucked from the Yankees in last year’s Rule 5 draft — tossed a pair of scoreless innings.
To make matters worse, Adam Ottavino, a huge disappointment in his two years in The Bronx, retired the side in order in the eighth.
This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Dan Martin