OAKLAND, Calif. - Chris Capuano is making Joe Girardi's decision easy.
After coming off the disabled list, the veteran lefthander turned in a third straight subpar start Friday night, taking the loss as the Yankees fell to the A's, 6-2, in front of 23,540 at O.co Coliseum. It was the Yankees' second straight loss to the American League's worst club after three straight victories over the Royals, who entered that series with the league's best record.
Girardi said before the game that he had not decided who will be bumped from the rotation when Masahiro Tanaka starts Wednesday afternoon in Seattle. Capuano, however, is the logical choice.
The 36-year-old, now 0-3 with a 6.39 ERA, allowed four runs (three earned) and six hits in 51/3 innings. All of those runs came in the third.
The Yankees (25-24), quickly making a distant memory of their surprising three-game sweep of the loaded Royals to start the week, managed two runs and four hits in eight innings against A's star righthander Sonny Gray (6-2, 1.82). Brian McCann homered for the fourth straight game for the first run off Gray.
"Good stuff,'' Girardi said of Gray. "That's the bottom line, the kid's got great stuff. He didn't make a lot of mistakes."
Capuano actually did well to make it through 51/3 before giving way to Esmil Rogers, who pitched 12/3 scoreless innings. Rookie lefthander Jacob Lindgren, who made his big-league debut Monday, allowed a two-run homer by Brett Lawrie in the eighth that made it 6-2. Lawrie also hit a tying two-run homer in Thursday night's 5-4 victory by the A's (19-32).
Billy Burns led off Oakland's four-run third with a rocket double into the corner in left and Marcus Semien sent him to third with a solid single to left. Ben Zobrist then scorched a grounder to third that hit the edge of the infield grass and skittered between the legs of Chase Headley, allowing Burns to score to make it 1-0.
"To me, it just looked like he didn't see the ball because of the way the glove was,'' Girardi said. "He just didn't read it correctly. I don't know if he lost it or what happened. But obviously it opened up an opportunity for them."
Said Headley (who said he saw the ball just fine): "A play I feel I have to make regardless of whether it takes a hop or not. Cap made a big pitch right there. If I catch that ball, we turn a double play and we may be out of there with one run. Obviously disappointing. Another play that I probably should have made."
It was Headley's team-worst 11th error of the season, coming on the heels of a season in which he committed nine errors in 135 games split between the Padres and Yankees.
"It's never happened to me before,'' Headley said. "I know I'll get through it. It's frustrating because it's causing us to lose games, but it's not for lack of effort or lack of attention to detail."
Two pitches later, it was 4-0. Billy Butler smashed an RBI double off the wall in left and Stephen Vogt knocked in two more runs with a double down the rightfield line.
"It possibly changes the way you use the bullpen,'' Girardi said of Headley's error. "It changes a lot of different things. The extra out hurt us."
Capuano said of the error: "Stuff like that happens. You just have to keep making pitches. I missed some locations and gave up some hits after that. It came back to hurt. With Sonny on the other side, you knew runs were going to be at a premium."
Leading off the fifth, McCann launched an 0-and-2 slider over the wall in right-center for his eighth homer. He became the first Yankees catcher to homer in four straight games since Mike Stanley in 1993.
The Yankees scratched out another run in the sixth. Didi Gregorius doubled with one out, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Brett Gardner's grounder to short to make it 4-2.
Now Capuano will have to see how his role changes and if he can remain a member of the rotation. "I never really worry too much about that,'' he said. "That stuff usually sorts itself out."
Notes & quotes: Slade Heathcott, who had a .353/.353/.588 slash line in six games, will be put on the 15-day disabled list with a Grade 2 strain of his right quadriceps and likely will be out for at least a month, Girardi said. Outfielder Ramon Flores was called up from Scranton and was scheduled to arrive late Friday night . . . Girardi said he's not paying any closer attention to top pitching prospect Luis Severino now that he's been promoted to Triple-A because he pays attention to all of the club's minor-leaguers. Still, "the way it usually happens is when somebody goes down, you talk about the guys in Triple-A before you talk about the guys in Double-A," he said. "So he's that much closer now."