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Yankees' streak without being shut out ends at 220 regular season games

Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez #24 hits a double

Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez #24 hits a double in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium on Sept 2, 2019. Photo Credit: Daniel De Mato

It lasted 428 days, 220 regular season games and 225 games overall. And on Monday, it all added up to a big old zero.

The Yankees hadn't been shut out since June 30, 2018, but that streak ended on Labor Day when  they lost to the Rangers, 7-0, at Yankee Stadium. 

It was the second-longest such streak in MLB's modern era, behind the Yankees' 308-game streak from 1931 to 1933, during the Babe Ruth-Lou Gehrig years. 

“How long?” Aaron Boone asked of the streak after the game. “Wow,” he said when he heard the answer.

“I think it’s a credit to those guys, to how consistent they’ve been, and as a group, how tough they are to get through on a daily basis,” he said. “I guess eventually, unfortunately, that would probably fall, but I think it speaks to how good of a group they’ve been over that time.”

The Yankees had not been shut out since  an 11-0 loss to the Red Sox in which they managed only two hits against Chris Sale and two Red Sox relievers. That was 15 months ago.

Beginning on July 1, 2018, there have been 368 shutouts thrown in the major leagues. The second-best mark belongs to the Athletics, who have been blanked three times since that date.

“Any time we don’t score or have a good offensive showing, it’s always a little bit surprising because our guys are so good,” Boone said. “It happens when a good pitcher is on top of his game. He can make it tough for you.”

On Monday, that pitcher was Rangers lefthander Mike Minor (12-8), who used his fastball and cutter to stymie this potent offense. He allowed five hits and a walk before departing with one out and two runners on in the eighth inning.

And instead of their recent late theatrics – walk-off home runs in the previous two games – the Yankees failed to get any traction against the duo of Shawn Kelley and Emmanuel Clase, who allowed one hit in 1 2/3 innings and completed the six-hit shutout.

After a nearly three-hour rain delay, the Rangers wasted no time jumping on Masahiro Tanaka. Elvis Andrus and Willie Calhoun strung together one-out hits in the first inning, and Nomar Mazara's sacrifice fly made it 1-0.

Tanaka kept it that way until the fifth, when Jose Trevino teed off on a grooved first-pitch fastball and homered to rightfield for a 2-0 lead. With runners on first and second and two outs,  Danny Santana singled to left, but Clint Frazier's throw hit Gary Sanchez on the fly  to nail Andrus.

Tanaka (10-8) allowed two runs, seven hits and two walks in six innings, striking out five -– all without a crisp slider, though his splitter was effective, he said.

“Overall, it was a pretty tough outing,” he said through his interpreter. “I had to grind throughout the day.”

Added Boone: “A gritty effort by him. He made some pitches when he needed to and gave us a good outing through six.”

Nestor Cortes Jr. struck out the side in the seventh, but the Rangers scored four runs against him in the eighth after he retired two of the first three batters in the inning. Ronald Guzman singled home a run and  Delino DeShields sent a letter-high 88-mph fastball into the leftfield stands for a three-run homer and a 6-0 lead.

Shin-Soo Choo hit a solo home run off Tyler Lyons in the ninth.

In the end, Boone and company could merely acknowledge the inevitable: The streak had to end sometime.  

“It’s just a good pitcher on top of his game tonight,'' he said, "and we just obviously weren’t able to mount much against him.”

For the first time in a very long time.

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