BOSTON — Michael King didn’t pitch his usual relief in his final innings, and his rare slump contributed to the Yankees’ Game 1 loss Sunday against the Red Sox.
King scored for the third time in his past four games, allowing three runs in the sixth inning of the Yankees’ 6–2 rout in Game 1 of a daytime doubleheader at Fenway Park.
The Yankees lost Game 2, 4-1.
“I just haven’t really adapted to their approach. Many of them were trying to drag me down. “I kept throwing fastballs and sliding games that I wouldn’t get away with, and it hurt me,” King said. “I am frustrated by the lack of awareness that I cannot change my approach to their approach any faster than I did.”
After missing the second half of last season with an elbow injury, King re-established himself as a regular for the Yankees this season, posting a 1.65 ERA over his first 19 relief games through June 3.
But the 28-year-old right fielder is rated as having six runs batted in over 5 ⁄ innings in his last four games.
King scored the final out of the fifth inning after the Red Sox scored on two touchdowns from Yankees starter Clark Schmidt for a 2-2 game.
King also retired the first two batters in the sixth, before Keke Hernandez reached on a single.
Connor Wong and Alex Verdugo connected back-to-back doubles from the Green Monster and Justin Turner added an RBI single to take a 5-2 lead in Boston.
“Obviously, Hernandez’s single was a killer,” said Aaron Boone. “And then Wong got it, Wong looked like he hit a good ball, he stuck it against the wall and then we got hurt a little bit.
“Sometimes we see it at our place, where we stick one in the first row on the right [field]. We got quite a few balls in those first two games and they clipped right off that wall. Verdugo got it that way. I might have lost some sharpness there after that, but Wong got it, and it probably looked like a mistake. It was that big hit in the inning that gave them the lead.”