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Ivan Nova’s struggles continue as Yankees fall to Rockies

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi takes the

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi takes the ball from New York Yankees starting pitcher Ivan Nova during the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies in an MLB baseball game at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, June 21, 2016. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Ivan Nova certainly isn’t alone on the list of what ails the Yankees, but it is becoming a fair question to ask how much longer they can afford to send him to the mound.

The righthander continues to be a wreck there, and he laid another egg last night in an 8-4 loss to the Rockies in front of 34,760 at the Stadium.

Nova, who came in 2-3 with a 6.30 ERA in his previous five starts, allowed six runs (five earned) and eight hits in four-plus innings.

Asked about whether he was giving consideration to bumping Nova (5-5, 5.18) from the rotation, Joe Girardi said, “As of right now, no.”

The Rockies had 15 hits in winning their third straight this season against the Yankees (34-36). Colorado also beat Nova around for five runs and 10 hits last Wednesday in Denver.

“It’s not what you want to do, but you have to keep your head up and keep working,” Nova said. “This is not the first time I’ve gone through a stretch like that. I just have to find a way to get through this.”

Girardi said the constants have been a wayward sinker and curveball.

“It’s location,” Girardi said. “Sinker has not been down and his curveball has not been as effective. We need to get this straightened out.”

Leadoff man Charlie Blackmon hit two homers for the Rockies (34-36), who hit three overall after pounding five in their previous game, Monday night at Miami. Nolan Arenado hit his MLB-best 21st homer in the sixth off Nick Goody to make it 8-3.

Colorado righthander Chad Bettis (6-5, 5.44) allowed four runs (two earned) and eight hits over six innings. He has two victories since May 17, both against the Yankees who, once again, have staggered after reaching .500.

“We’ve been inconsistent,” Carlos Beltran said. “We have been able to put good stretches (together) and we feel we’re about to continue to play well, all of a sudden we fall back.”

Beltran went 2-for-5, improving his slash line in his last 28 games to .340/.375/.689 with 10 homers and 29 RBIs, but his night was not a good one because of fielding and baserunning mistakes.

He committed an error that led to a run in a three-run first and seemed frozen in place on a Carlos Gonzalez liner that sailed over his head for a double in the fifth. He also was thrown out trying to take second on Alex Rodriguez’s sacrifice fly in the sixth, ending the inning with the Rockies ahead 6-3.

“To me, it’s trying to do too much,” Girardi said. “Carlos is a really smart player but he had a bad read.”

Said Beltran: “That’s the way I play the game. If I feel I can take the extra base, I’ll put my effort to try and get there.”

Blackmon drove a hanging, 1-and-1 curveball high off the rightfield foul pole for his ninth homer to start the game.

DJ LeMahieu, who along with Gonzalez and Arenado had three hits, singled to right. Arenado reached on an infield hit (he initially was called out, but the call was overturned on replay). Gonzalez followed with an RBI single, with the runners advancing a base as the ball skidded under Beltran’s glove.

After Trevor Story fouled out to first, Daniel Descalso’s infield hit loaded the bases. Starlin Castro made a diving stop on Mark Reynolds’ grounder up the middle, with the force play allowing Arenado to score to make it 3-0.

Though the Yankees would have chances the rest of the way, it was mostly a night of frustration at the plate as they went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position, stranding seven.

“It’s what we’ve been going through all year, inconsistency,” Girardi said.

“It’s frustrating for everyone in that room. We work at it every day. The guys prepare every day and we try to prepare them every day. But it hasn’t happened.”

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