MIAMI – The Sunday night meltdown at Fenway Park a few weeks ago all but retired the trophy for worst Yankees loss of the 2018 regular season. But Wednesday night’s setback against the dreadful Marlins certainly must place somewhere on the list.
With their offense doing little for a second straight night and Lance Lynn flushing the slim lead he took into the sixth inning, the Yankees were blown out of Marlins Park, 9-3. The Yankees (79-47), who committed three errors, saw their four-game winning streak snapped and their deficit in the AL East to the Red Sox grow to nine.
“Overall, we didn’t play very good today,” Aaron Boone said. “We have to get through this one and get after it starting Friday. Obviously, these are important and we have to play better than we did tonight.”
The Yankees, after an off day Thursday, start a four-game series against the last-place Orioles, whom they’ve struggled with this season, Friday night at Camden Yards.
Lynn was 1-0 with a 0.54 ERA in his first three appearances as a Yankee before allowing five runs, four in the first inning, of his previous start. He took a 2-0 lead into Wednesday night’s sixth, but the Marlins scored five runs, three on Miguel Rojas’ homer that made it 4-2.
“Made one bad pitch, it cost me three runs,” Lynn said of the 1-and-2, 95-mph fastball, his 104th pitch, which he didn’t get in quite enough to Rojas. “Just give me one pitch back. Have a two-run lead going into the sixth, have to get through the sixth.”
Tommy Kahnle replaced Lynn later in the inning and allowed an inherited runner to score on a double to make it 5-2. Lynn allowed five runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. Rookie righthander Chance Adams, brought up Wednesday, torched things late, allowing four runs (three earned).
Marlins righthander Trevor Richards allowed two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings. The Yankees, fortunate to escape with a 2-1 victory in 12 innings the night before, had only five hits. Two came in the seventh as the Yankees tried to rally. Lefty Adam Conley retired the first two hitters before pinch hitter Luke Voit singled and Brett Gardner walked. Don Mattingly brought in righty Tayron Guerrero to face Giancarlo Stanton, who has hammered lefties all season. After a wild pitch moved the runners, Stanton chopped one to short for a hit that made it 5-3. Aaron Hicks worked the count full but was called out on a 102-mph fastball in the lower part of the zone to end the inning. Hicks disagreed with the call and slammed down his helmet.
Adams gave the run back in the bottom half. He walked Brian Anderson and former Yankee Starlin Castro back to back, and Austin Romine’s throwing error on ball four to Castro allowed Anderson to take third after he stole second. Derek Dietrich grounded into a 4-6 force that brought in Anderson to make it 6-3. Adams allowed a two-run homer to JT Riddle in the eighth and an RBI single to Castro that made it 9-3.
The Yankees, who were fortunate to escape with a 2-1 victory in 12 innings Tuesday night, did not get their first hit until the fourth, an RBI double by Neil Walker that made it 1-0. Otherwise, the bats were mostly quiet, with Greg Bird again leading the way in that department. After a brief resurgence at the end of last homestand, the first baseman went 0-for-10 with four strikeouts this series, lowering his average to .202 with a .292 OBP and .397 slugging average.
“Perplexed, no. Frustrated, yes,” Bird said. “I’m just not consistent. Just keep working at it, that’s the biggest thing, and keep going.”