Yankees first baseman J.D. Davis reacts after grounding out against...

Yankees first baseman J.D. Davis reacts after grounding out against the Reds during the sixth inning of an MLB game at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Carlos Rodon wasn’t bad Wednesday night, an improvement over his previous three starts when he was exactly that.

But the of-late inconsistent Yankees offense fit that description once again and is in danger of developing some hybrid of carpal tunnel syndrome in tipping their collective caps to opposing pitchers.

Held scoreless over the first six innings, the Yankees managed five hits in a 3-2 loss to the Reds for their 12th loss in 16 games.

“A little bit but we’ve got to make our own too,” Aaron Boone said of perhaps some “bad luck” playing a role in the offensive struggles for his club, which did hit the ball hard occasionally but right at defenders. “[Andrew] Abbott pitched a heck of a game and kept us at bay until we were able to chase him out of there.”

The Yankees (54-34) entered the night one game behind the Orioles, who played late Wednesday night in Seattle, in the American League East.

The Reds (41-45) didn’t exactly erupt offensively, producing just three hits.

Abbott (8-6, 3.28), a lefthander, allowed one run, three hits and four walks in 6 1⁄3 innings. He took a 3-0 lead into the seventh but after Jahmai Jones doubled with one out, Reds manager David Bell called for righthander Fernando Cruz, who arrived on the mound gas can, newspaper and lighter in hand.

He walked pinch hitter Austin Wells on five pitches before throwing a get-me-over first-pitch cutter to Anthony Volpe, who lined it into the gap in left-center for a two-run double that awakened the Fireworks Night sellout crowd of 47,646.

Volpe was 8-for-52 (.154) before the double. Juan Soto walked, which brought Aaron Judge to the plate. He momentarily quieted the crowd by grounding into an inning-ending, 5-4-3 double play. Judge, with 26 homers in his last 50 games, went 0-for-3 with a walk.

Judge, along with Soto, had earlier been named a starter to the AL All-Star team. Judge also was named Player of the Month for the second straight month.

“It feels great,” Soto, who gets his first All-Star Game start, said of starting in right alongside Judge in center. “He’s an All-Star, an amazing baseball player. More than happy to share the field every day with him and now in an All-Star Game will be even better.”

Pinch hitter Ben Rice worked a leadoff walk in the eighth against righty Lucas Sims and Gleyber Torres replaced him at first after beating out a potential double-play ball to the pitcher. Alex Verdugo fouled out and DJ LeMahieu slashed a single to right. Aaron Boone sent up the lefty-swinging Trent Grisham to pinch hit for Jones and lefthander Justin Wilson, a Yankee in 2015 and again in 2021, was summoned. Grisham struck out on three pitches.

Alexis Diaz came on to close it out in the ninth but Wells, after fouling off three straight 0-and-2 pitches, worked a 10-pitch walk. Volpe grounded into a 6-4-3 double play and Soto flied to left to end it.

“I’m just going to try and stick to my plan and stick to my approach with the flow of the game,” Volpe said about whether there was a thought of bunting Wells into scoring position. “I trust myself, trust my teammates, trust the coaching staff. I expect not to roll into a double play there.”

Rodon, who entered the night having allowed 21 runs (20 earned) and 28 hits in his previous three starts, allowed three runs, three hits and two walks in 5 1⁄3 innings Wednesday. Rodon, whose fastball had been abused by opposing hitters in that stretch, relied far less on the pitch against the Reds, mixing in more sliders, curveballs and changeups in the early going. He struck out eight.

Rodon allowed two homers — a two-run shot in the second to Noelvi Marte on a 93-mph fastball and a solo blast in the fifth, on a full-count slider, to Stuart Fairchild.

“Pulled that fastball down and in, that ball was supposed to be up,” Rodon said. “And then the 3-2 slider . . . they’re looking for that slider down and in and he made a good swing on it.”

Rodon (9-6), whose ERA has climbed from 2.93 on May 10 to 4.45 in four starts, has allowed 18 homers in his 18 outings, seven of those coming in his previous three starts.

“A lot better than the last three,” Rodon said of his night. “Some pitches I’d like to have back. Wish I would have kept some runs off the board and give the boys a better chance. But it’s on the next one now.”

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