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Light-hitting Yankees make Rangers' Miles Mikolas look like an ace

Miles Mikolas of the Texas Rangers pitches against

Miles Mikolas of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Monday, July 21, 2014. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Before Monday night's game against the Rangers, Yankees manager Joe Girardi acknowledged the recent hot stretches of prized offseason free-agent acquisitions Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran.

Then he offered words of caution.

"The other six guys have to get involved, too," Girardi said. "To score a lot of runs on a consistent basis, it can't just be three guys."

Beltran and Ellsbury each had an RBI, but Girardi's simple theory was proved as the Yankees lost to the Rangers, 4-2, at Yankee Stadium Monday night.

With Mark Teixeira, who leads the team in home runs and RBIs, out with a strained left lat and McCann given a day off (he entered as a pinch hitter in the ninth), the Yankees' lineup was inept against Rangers starter Miles Mikolas.

Mikolas entered Monday nightwith a 10.05 ERA in 141/3 innings spanning three starts, but the Yankees' futile offense made him look a lot better than that. He allowed two runs, four hits and two walks, struck out three in 71/3 innings and lowered his ERA to 7.48.

"We didn't swing the bats particularly well," Girardi said.

When asked why that was the case, particularly against Mikolas, Girardi was at a loss for words.

"I'm not sure," he said.

Ellsbury smacked a solo homer to rightfield in the fourth inning to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead and finished 2-for-4. The sequence that led to the Yankees' first run, however, wasn't all that impressive: After drawing a first-inning walk, Derek Jeter came around on a balk, a groundout and a sacrifice fly by Beltran.

That kind of offensive futility, however, can be expected when one-third of the lineup is batting below .250 and five players have on-base percentages below .310.

Ellsbury, the only Yankee to record two hits Monday night, leads the team in batting average (.291) and on-base percentage (.354). The only other Yankees regular who is hitting higher than .280 is Ichiro Suzuki (.281), who has zero home runs and 11 RBIs.

And Monday night, the offensive struggles were showcased against the struggling Mikolas.

Said Girardi, "We just weren't able to do much."

New York Sports