One week after their first game without Aaron Judge, the Yankees lineup was still moving in slow motion.
On Sunday, their inability to muster much offense offset another strong start from Clark Schmidt and resulted in a 3-2, 10-inning loss to the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees only scored three hits off Red Sox right-hander Brian Bellew and none, with Boston winning the rubber game in the team’s first series of the season.
Since Judge last played, the Yankees have scored just 21 points in seven games, going 3-4 in this run.
Facing Ron Marinaccio in the top of the tenth, the Red Sox moved robot runner Adam Duvall to third base on a groundout before Keke Hernandez hit a single through the left side for a 3-2 lead.
Careful not to increase the Yankees’ deficit, left fielder Billy McKinney made a wall jump on a fly ball by Pablo Reyes to end the inning.
DJ LeMahieu started in the bottom of the tenth at second base and moved to third on McKinney’s lead out to right field. But Chris Martin came back to hit Jose Trevino and Anthony Volpe to finish him off.
The Yankees took a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning, when an indifferent error by Jeleber Torres came back to hurt. Hernandez led off with a single against Michael King, after third baseman LeMahieu’s dunk, which McKinney tackled in left field. But McKinney’s throw to second base bounced right past Torres, who didn’t get out of the bag to try and catch it, allowing Hernandez to easily move to second.
A walk and a sacrifice bunt later, the Red Sox had runners on second and third with one out. The Yankees played their field and the Red Sox took advantage, as Jarren Duran hit a ground ball to second and traded an out for a drive on the tying run.
Schmidt turned in his fifth consecutive solid start, giving up just 1 run (a solo home run to Justin Turner) across 5 innings ¹/ in which he struck out four times and didn’t walk at all. After working through some struggles early in the season, Schmidt now has a 2.33 ERA over his last five starts.
The key to the shift was that Schmidt handled better left-handed hitters. Over his first nine starts, left-handed batters batted . 369 off Schmidt with a 1.105 OPS. In five games since then, left-handed batters have batted just . 25 against him.
Schmidt worked quickly early on and helped himself by getting ahead more often. The Red Sox have been able to work with three long hits against him — 10-and eight-pitch at bats by Turner and 11-pitch by Hernandez — which accounted for 29 of his 82 pitches.
Turner’s eight-pitch offense in the second inning resulted in a solo homer for a 1–0 Red Sox lead. Yankee Stadium was the only park where a home run would have been possible, much like Willie Calhoun’s go-ahead Saturday night.
But the Yankees took the lead in the bottom of the inning against Bellew, thanks to a lucky rebound.
With runners on second and third, after a Josh Donaldson walk and a McKinney ground-base double, Trevino hit a ground ball up the middle. Hernandez, the Red Sox’ second baseman, was in position to field him, but before the ball could reach him, he hit second base and bounced to the outfield to score on a 2-1 lead.