BOSTON – Add one more to the already considerably high worst-loss-of-the-season pile for the Yankees.
With first Chad Green and then Brooks Kriske melting down late – with the latter throwing a remarkable four wild pitches in the 10th – the Yankees took a 5-4 loss in 10 innings Thursday night to the Red Sox in front of 34,761 at Fenway Park.
"I’m still pretty sick to my stomach right now," starter Jordan Montgomery, who threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings, said of the loss.
It was yet another crushing setback for the Yankees (50-45), who failed to hold a 3-1 lead in the ninth and a 4-3 edge in the 10th.
"Another gut-punch," Aaron Boone said. "An out away there…it certainly stings on a long night here. But we also have to get over this."
Brett Gardner scored Tyler Wade, who started the 10th at second per the extra-inning rules, to give the Yankees that one-run lead.
But the rookie Kriske, closing with Aroldis Chapman and almost no one else unavailable, could not finish it. Not even close as the jittery righty threw a first-pitch wild pitch to move Rafael Devers, who began the inning at second, to third and another that scored the third basemen, tying it at 4-4. Kriske walked Xander Bogaerts and threw two more wild pitches before Hunter Renfroe, after J.D. Martinez struck out, brought him in with a sacrifice fly to right to win it.
"It was just pure execution," Kriske said of his issue. "Obviously, I have to do a better job. I want to be someone that the team can rely on in the big spots and it’s something I have to do better. It sucks to be the one to blow it for the team."
Boone had Justin Wilson warming but said he planned to use the lefty only in the event of an "emergency" because he had thrown a season-high 1 1/3 innings the night before in a victory over the Phillies.
Thursday night’s game included quite a bit, including a mid-game 55-minute rain delay and another late-inning meltdown by Green, whose most memorable one occurred in Houston the Sunday before the All-Star break.
Against the AL East-leading Red Sox (59-38), who lead the Yankees by eight games, Green allowed back-to-back one-out hits to Alex Verdugo and Bobby Dalbec to awaken what was left of the Fenway crowd. Green got Michael Chavis to fly out, but Kike Hernandez laced a two-run double to left-center on 1-and-0, 96-mph to tie it at 3-3.
Montgomery, 3-5 with a 4.18 ERA coming in and without a win since June 2 against Tampa Bay (he had lost his last four decisions), was brilliant in allowing three hits and a walk and striking out six, departing with a 1-0 lead with two outs in the sixth. Montgomery came back out after the 55-minute delay and had no difficulties.
Righty Sal Romano, who was born in Syosset, allowed a single in the sixth but got out of it, then recorded the first out of the seventh before lefty Lucas Luetge came on and allowed a run. Giancarlo Stanton’s RBI single in the eighth snapped a 1-1 tie and Gleyber Torres’ sacrifice fly later in the inning made it 3-1.
Red Sox righty Tanner Houck, who did not come back after the delay, allowed one run (unearned) and two hits over 4 2/3 innings.
After Montgomery departed, the Yankees sent forth of their more interesting bullpen combinations of the season, going with Romano, Luetge, Cessa, Green and Kriske. Twice, entering the ninth and then the 10th, it appeared as if it would be a winning combination. Until it wasn’t.
"We’ve had in this stretch of baseball, where we've played really well and won a lot of games, we've also had some incredibly tough losses like tonight," Boone said. "And time and time again, the guys have bounced back, and that's what we expect to do tomorrow (Friday)."