Tuesday’s game against the Oakland Athletics was delayed 1 hour and 12 minutes because of a heavy rainstorm, but the double rainbow that was over the stadium after the rain stopped was not able to wake up the struggling offense against Scott Kazmir. They lost 5-2 in 10 innings as a result of the offense scoring two runs for the third time in their last four games. Their only win in the last five games was when they scored three runs in a win over the Twins.
Mark Teixeira, who was playing in his first game since Saturday as a result his wrist keeping him out of the lineup again, drove in the two runs that the Yankees scored. His single to right in the first inning drove in Brett Gardner, and Teixeira’s 407-foot homer to left in the sixth gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead. The offense could have scored more runs but they were only 1-8 with runners in scoring position.
Alfonso Soriano was 0-3 with three strikeouts while looking completely off balance at the plate. He does not have a hit in his last 15 at-bats, which has dropped his average all the way down to .226. He should get designated for assignment or at the very least not play for an extended period as a result of how he is hurting the offense.
Joe Girardi said that the offense needs to step up and was relieved to have Teixeira back in the lineup. “We have had different people in the lineup, everyone has had a shot, and will continue try to put out what we feel is the best matchups against certain people and we got to get it done,” Girardi said. “Obviously, as we have said all along, we have missed him (Teixeira) because he is a run producer and that is exactly what he did tonight.”
Kazmir had 10 strikeouts and allowed those two RBIs by Teixeira before being taken out of the game with one out in the seventh, but Hiroki Kuroda had his best start of the season. Kuroda threw 6.2 innings while allowing one earned run and a season-low two hits. One of them was Brandon Moss’s first of two homers. It appeared that he would get his fourth win of the season, but Dellin Betances, who has been outstanding this season, lost the lead.
Betances’s strikeout to end the seventh drew a standing ovation from the crowd, but he unraveled in the eighth as he walked Albert Callaspo and gave up a game-tying RBI double to pinch hitter Stephen Vogt. Betances had previously only allowed one run in his previous nine appearances, while striking out 24 batters in those nine games, which has made him a very valuable pitcher in the bullpen for the Yankees.
Vogt was playing in only his second game of the season. After David Robertson pitched a perfect ninth inning, the game went into extra innings with the score tied at two.
Most of the fans had left at this point as many sections of the stadium had 10 or fewer people in them. They missed seeing the normally reliable Adam Warren gave up three earned runs in two thirds of an inning to raise his ERA from 1.71 to 2.53. Moss lead of the tenth with his second homer that would end up being the game winner, Jed Lowrie’s double passed Jacoby Ellsbury in center scored Yoenis Cespedes and Kyle Blanks’s single that scored Lowrie made the score 5-3.
The two, three and four hitters came to bat in the tenth for the Yankees but they were retired in order to end the game in front of a sparsely filled Yankee Stadium. There have not been many times when there were so few people at Yankee Stadium, but the struggling offense did not give much reason for hope.
The Yankees, 29-28 and third place in the AL East, will look to score more than three runs for the first time since the 7-4 win in St. Louis on May 28 when they play the second game of the series against the Athletics on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. Vidal Nuno, who allowed four runs in his last start, will pitch against righty Jesse Chavez (2.78 ERA).