On the same day the Yankees put Luis Severino on the injured list with a right lat strain that will keep him out for who-knows how long, the team got a good look at a potential trade target in advance of the Aug. 2 trade deadline.
That would be Reds ace Luis Castillo, whose already steep price only went up Thursday night.
The 29-year-old did not allow a hit over his first 5 1/3 innings and mostly dominated the Yankees for seven innings.
It being a nine-inning game and all, a dreadful Reds bullpen took over and the Yankees rallied with three eighth-inning runs to tie it.
But a Yankees bullpen that has been far from its best of late saw that trend continue and the Reds, scoring three times off Lucas Luetge in the 10th, got out of the Stadium with a 7-6 victory in 10 innings in front of 41,311.
“Lucas has gotten a lot of big outs for us this year,” said Aaron Boone, who also saw Jonathan Loaisiga make his return from the IL and allow three runs in the eighth to snap a 1-1 tie. “Just couldn’t put some guys away.”
The Yankees (62-27), who have lost four of their last five, dropped a rare series at home as the Reds (34-56), who outhit their hosts 11-6, took two of three.
The Yankees, down 7-4 in the bottom of the 10th, not surprisingly made it interesting, nearly copping their MLB-leading 28th comeback victory. They got a two-run homer from Matt Carpenter off Reiver Sanmartin with none out to make it 7-6 and put another runner on with one out when Joey Gallo walked. In came righty Dauri Moreta, who retired Jose Trevino but allowed a single to Isiah Kiner-Falefa, putting the tying run at second. DJ LeMahieu, swinging first pitch, lined to center to end it.
“I liked our chances going into extra innings,” said Aaron Judge, whose leadoff homer in the eighth – his MLB-leading 31st – paved the way to tie it later in the inning against overmatched Reds righty Jeff Hoffman, on Gleyber Torres’ two-run blast. “Especially with how this team handles big situations like that. We just fell a little bit short. The Reds battled their butt off this whole series.”
Afterward there wasn’t any more clarity on Severino’s timeline for a return, though Boone said he was “optimistic” the pitcher won’t need too much more time than the required 15 days on the IL. But the Yankees, already evaluating the market for starters before his injury, no doubt will be digging in even deeper in that regard.
“It’s a big blow,” Judge said. “Hopefully it’s nothing serious. Hopefully we get him back after 15 days, 20 days, whatever. But we’ve got a lot of good guys in this clubhouse that will pick him up.”
Castillo, 3-4 but with a 2.92 ERA coming into the night, allowed one run and two hits. Castillo, who will cost a king’s ransom in terms of prospects should the Reds (34-55) choose to deal him, walked four, struck out eight and did not allow a hit until Anthony Rizzo’s one-out double in the sixth.
“He’s one of the best pitchers in the league,” Judge said of Castillo. “He was working both edges, good four-seamer and sinker and has one the best changeups in the game too. He didn’t leave too many mistakes for us to hit. When you [throw] 100 and you’re painting the corners, it’s a tough day.”
Loaisiga, activated from the IL, where he had been since May 25 with right shoulder inflammation, allowed mostly soft contact but nonetheless allowed three runs and four hits in the eighth to put the Yankees in a 4-1 hole. Boone blamed himself for the Kyle Farmer two-out, two-run single in the inning, saying he should have gotten Loaisiga “out of there” with two outs and two on, one run already in.
“It’s on me,” Boone said.
Luetge, starting the 10th with Brandon Drury at second as the ghost runner, allowed RBI doubles to Joey Votto and Tyler Stephenson and an RBI single do Donovan Solano to make it 7-4.
Nestor Cortes, coming off an outing Friday in Boston in which he allowed a season-high tying four runs in his shortest outing of the season – 3 2/3 – enjoyed a bounce-back outing, allowing one run and four hits over seven innings in which he walked one and struck out four.
“I’ve adjusted some things,” Cortes said of his bread-and-butter pitch, the cutter, which had not been as effective in his previous six outings (in which he accumulated a 5.34 ERA) but was far better Thursday. “I was better today commanding it to areas I wanted to.”