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James Paxton latest Yankees starter to get rocked in loss to Red Sox

Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton pitches during the

Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton pitches during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston on July 26, 2019 Credit: CJ GUNTHER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock/CJ GUNTHER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

BOSTON — Thursday night closed a disastrous full turn through for the Yankees’ rotation.

And on Friday night, the pitcher who started the horrendous stretch last Sunday, James Paxton, did not portend a significant turnaround anytime soon for the beleaguered group.

The lefthander, while not approaching the tire fire that was Masahiro Tanaka’s 12-runs-allowed outing Thursday night, nonetheless plunged the Yankees into an inescapable hole.

Paxton allowed two homers in the first inning en route to allowing four in four innings in the Yankees’ 10-5 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

The AL East-leading Yankees (66-37), though still with an 8 1⁄2-game lead over the Rays and a nine-game lead over the Red Sox, suddenly are facing a crisis of sorts from a rotation that before this stretch had performed pretty well this month. But it is a unit that general manager Brian Cashman — who attended the game — is trying to upgrade before Wednesday’s trade deadline.

The Yankees have allowed 64 runs in their last six games. No starter has gone longer than four innings. They gave up 14 hits Friday night, including four home runs, a triple and six doubles.

In the previous turn through the rotation entering Friday, Yankees starters went 0-3 with an 18.34 ERA, allowing 40 runs (36 earned), 38 hits (including 12 homers) and 12 walks in 17 2⁄3 innings.

If one adds the five runs allowed by Tanaka in his final inning last Saturday and the seven runs given up by Paxton on Friday, the rotation has a 19.06 ERA and a 2.87 WHIP in its last 22 2⁄3 innings, allowing 52 runs (48 earned), 52 hits (including 17 homers) and 13 walks.

“It’s obviously been a rough week for us,’’ Aaron Boone said. “All we can do is dive in and as best we can try and tighten things up and get things corrected and make sure we’re doing all we can to go out and execute because we do know we’re capable.”

Friday marked the sixth straight game in which a Yankees starter allowed at least six runs in four or fewer innings, the longest streak of that kind by any club’s rotation in the live-ball era (dating to 1920), according to STATS.

Paxton allowed seven runs and nine hits in four innings. Mookie Betts homered in his first three at-bats, all against Paxton, and finished 4-for-5 with a double and five RBIs. J.D. Martinez also homered off Paxton.

Red Sox starter Andrew Cashner allowed three runs and 10 hits in 6 2⁄3 innings. The Yankees had 13 hits, three each by Mike Tauchman and Austin Romine.

Paxton toted a 10.06 first-inning ERA into the night, and that went up to 11.00. Betts led off with a long homer to left and Rafael Devers followed with a single. After Xander Bogaerts struck out looking, Martinez crushed a 3-and-1 cutter over the Green Monster in left-center for his 21st homer. At that point, Paxton had allowed 15 homers this season, 10 of them in the first inning.

“It’s a tough one,’’ Paxton said. “I thought I threw the ball pretty well but they didn’t miss pitches where I made mistakes on. They were swinging the bat really well. Credit to them. They were really swinging it tonight.”

Said Boone, “I thought stuff-wise he was electric and you saw in and out of dominance. Nine strikeouts, no walks. The cutter was really good tonight in a lot of spots, the fastball was really good in a lot of spots. But then there were a number of mistakes that they were all over.”

The Yankees needed innings from Paxton but couldn’t get them. “I went out there and gave everything I had, wanted to be able to give us some length tonight,’’ he said. “Unfortunately, I didn’t do that. Hopefully we can get this thing turned around starting tomorrow.”

That will be up to CC Sabathia. “Just try to go out and have a good game,’’ Sabathia said. “We’ve been struggling here the last couple days. Hopefully go out, pitch a good game and get a win.”

In the past six games, Yankees starting pitchers have gotten bombed:

IP H R ER BB HR

Paxton 4 9 7 7 0 4

Tanaka 3.1 12 12 12 3 2

Happ 3.1 6 6 6 2 2

German 3.2 9 8 8 2 3

Sabathia 4 6 7 6 2 4

Paxton 3.1 5 7 4 3 1

Totals 21.2 47 47 43 12 16

New York Sports