In two of their first three games since putting Aaron Judge on the injured list, the New York Yankees were a few feet away from getting game-ending three-run homers. They turned into losses.
Still struggling for consistent offense since losing Judge to a bruised right big toe, the Yankees hope toachieve two things Saturday night when they host the Boston Red Sox in the middle contest of a three-game series: score often and find a way to get slugger Rafael Devers out.
New York is 30-19 with Judge and 7-9 without him. In the Yankees' first three games without their captain, they have produced 10 runs and 24 hits while losing a pair of one-run games.
In the first game of Thursday's doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox, Gleyber Torres missed a game-ending three-run homer before slumping Anthony Rizzo hit into a double play to end a 6-5 loss. In Friday's 3-2 loss, rookie Anthony Volpe hit a foul ball to deep left before slamming his bat after popping out for the final out against Kenley Jansen.
"We just miss him," said New York ace Gerrit Cole, who took his first loss of the season and is 7-1. "I mean, it's just, he's the greatest player in the world. Anybody that doesn't have him in their lineup would rather have him in their lineup."
Josh Donaldson homered and Isiah Kiner-Falefa scored on a wild pitch but Rizzo was 0-for-4 and is 1-for-27 in seven games since returning from missing three games with a neck injury. DJ LeMahieu had two hits.
"I felt like we had a lot of quality at-bats up and down," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "We just couldn't get the big one."
Boston bounced back nicely from Thursday's 10-3 loss in Cleveland by getting a double and a homer from Devers. Enrique Hernandez also homered and Triston Casas hit an RBI single as Boston won for the sixth time in 18 games.
"We pitched well and hit the ball out of the ballpark," Boston manager Alex Cora said. "That's always good and we played decent defense. It's good to start this series like that and now we got two shots to win the series."
Devers ended a 16-game homerless drought and heads into Saturday with 20 career homers against the Yankees.
After Garrett Whitlock pitched into the seventh Friday, Boston's Tanner Houck (3-5, 5.46 ERA) will try to halt a seven-game winless skid on Saturday. Since his most recent win on April 20, Houck is 0-5 with a 6.14 ERA and extended the skid Sunday by allowing four runs in five innings of a 6-2 home loss to Tampa Bay.
Houck is 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA in nine career appearances (four starts) against the Yankees.
New York's Domingo German (3-3, 3.69) will make his third start since returning from a 10-game suspension for getting caught with a sticky substance May 16 in Toronto. German allowed four runs in 6 1/3 innings to earn the win May 29 in Seattle and then permitted one run in 6 2/3 innings in a no-decision at the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday.
German is 2-2 with a 3.88 ERA in 12 career appearances (10 starts) against the Red Sox.
--Field Level Media