Sliding Yankees fall to Angels after Aaron Boone’s urgent plea

On a sweltering night in which the opposing starting pitcher got sick on the mound, the Yankees found yet another way to make their fans feel ill.

On a sweltering night in which the opposing starting pitcher got sick on the mound, the Yankees found yet another way to make their fans feel ill.

Two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani homered in his first at-bat — and DJ LeMahieu’s error led to the go-ahead run in the fifth inning — as the sloppy and sliding Yankees dropped their fourth straight game Monday, 5-3 to the Angels, before an announced crowd of 25,054 at the Stadium.

“We just haven’t showed up every night,” Giancarlo Stanton said after the game. “We have spurts of it. But this game, these seasons, this uniform — it isn’t about spurts. It’s about showing up every night. We just have to figure it out. We’re just not collectively as a group performing as we should, as we envisioned.”

Aaron Boone also didn’t mince words before the game as his fourth-place team (now 40-38) returned home following an alarming three-game sweep in Boston. He bluntly stated multiple times that the Yankees’ “season is on the line.”

“I’m disappointed we lost, certainly we understand where we are and the importance of these [games],” Boone said afterward. “Certainly frustrating coming off a very tough weekend.”

Boone’s team is now 7 ½ games behind the Red Sox, who finished off their weekend sweep at Fenway with a 9-2 victory Sunday with Yanks ace Gerrit Cole on the mound.

Clint Frazier reacts after striking out.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

“There’s always one to point the finger at, whether deserving or not. We’re the ones performing. You can’t put that on him,” Stanton said of Boone. “We’re the ones that go up and have the opportunity to spin that around. I don’t think that’s fair to put that blame on him.”

Boone said the organization continues to discuss potential changes, but has remained patient with the hope the team will rediscover the consistency that led to a 13-5 run in mid-May

“I think there is a level of patience that we all have because of the faith we have in our group and each other. But also we’re a team that expects to be really good,” Boone said. “We’re a team that expects to compete for a championship.

“We’re getting to the middle of the season. There’s a lot of calendar that’s gone off the clock already.”

Ohtani, who is slated to pitch Wednesday night’s game, put Yanks starter Mike King in an early hole as the game’s second batter. He drilled a full-count curveball into the right-field bleachers — with an exit velocity of 117 mph — for his 26th homer of the season to tie Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for the major league lead.

King, who had called Ohtani “an absolute freak of nature” on Sunday, also gave up a second run on Jared Walsh’s double to left-center.

King didn’t allow another run until the fifth, after the Yanks had tied the score against ailing Angels starter Dylan Bundy. They plated single runs in each of the first two innings on an RBI groundout by Gary Sanchez and a solo homer by Gio Urshela.

Bundy departed with what the Angels later described as heat exhaustion, after vomiting behind the mound with LeMahieu batting with two outs in the second inning.

“I feel bad for him, he was pitching, I don’t know what really happened there,” Urshela said. “Not good for him. I hope he’s OK.”

Bundy’s replacement, Jose Suarez, silenced the Yankee bats into the sixth, one inning after the Angels had regained the lead. LeMahieu booted Walsh’s grounder following Rendon’s one-out double to put runners on the corners. He then got handcuffed on Max Stassi’s sharp grounder and only was able to record one out at second base as Rendon scored.

After ex-Met Juan Lagares and Stanton traded homers in the sixth, the Yanks’ recent spell of sloppiness continued in the eighth, even though LeMahieu wasn’t charged with a second error. His relay throw sailed over Sanchez’s head on Jose Iglesias’ RBI double against Chad Green for a 5-3 game.

“We can throw out all the sayings. Talk is cheap, we’ve got to go do it,” Boone said. “As disappointing and as frustrating as we are to not grab this first one, especially coming off the weekend we had, we’ve got to go play [Tuesday] and try to dig ourselves out of this.

“We need to put things together … and we have to do it with the guys in that room.”

This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Peter Botte

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