Rookie Maikel Franco’s five RBIs led the last place Phillies to an 11-6 win over the Yankees

CC Sabathia

CC Sabathia

In a game that had a 1:21 minute rain delay, CC Sabathia gave the Yankees their third consecutive sub-par pitching performance, which led to their second consecutive loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. The 11-6 defeat means that the Yankees have lost the three-game series to the Phillies, who have the worst record in all of baseball.

After allowing three runs in six innings in his previous start, Sabathia got worse as he allowed six runs on eight hits in only 4.2 innings pitched. Maikel Franco, who is one of the best rookies in baseball, dominated the Yankees for the second game in a row (10 RBIs in the last two games).

Franco was 2-3, with two runs scored, five RBIs and his three-run homer in the fourth off of Sabathia gave the Phillies a 6-3 lead. That was the second homer Sabathia allowed in the fourth as Cameron Rupp hit his first major-league homer to drive in Andres Blanco, who doubled with one out. Joe Girardi is still optimistic about Sabathia.

He’ll keep working at it, and he’ll still compete,” Girardi said. “We need him to do his job. I feel good about CC when he’s out there.”

Sabathia’s six runs allowed caused his ERA to go up from 5.31 to 5.65 and part of the reason that he has struggled is that he has allowed a homer in five of his last six starts and has allowed two homers in four of his last six starts.

This is definitely frustrating,” Sabathia said. “My stuff is there. I just have to pitch better. I have to turn this thing around. There is a lot of season left. I felt great. I’m not hitting my spots.’’

The Yankees offense was able to tie the score in the fifth inning. Alex Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Brett Gardner and then in the second Garrett Jones hit his fourth homer of the season to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. In the third inning, to give the Yankees a 3-1 edge, Gardner hit a homer to right in what was his second round tripper in his last two games.

Chase Headley and Alex Rodriguez hit back-to-back homers to leadoff the fifth inning to make the score 6-5 and put the team back in the game. The homer by Headley was his 100th of his career. Carlos Beltran, who has multiple hits in his last three games, doubled to left and was later driven home by a double down the left field line by Chris Young to tie the score. That was Sean O’Sullivan sixth earned run of the game.

Headley had a troubling trend continue in the top of the fifth as he committed his 16th error of the season. Headley, who won a Gold Glove in 2012, has now made three more errors than he had in any previous full season.

The game was still tied in the ninth inning, and the Yankees had their best reliever pitching, but Dellin Betances was not able to locate his pitches like normal. After Branden Pinder, Chasen Shreve and Justin Wilson did not allow a hit in their 2.2 innings pitched in relief of Sabathia, Betances came into the game with one out in the eighth and after getting through the eighth without any damage, he allowed four runs on two hits in the ninth.

Betances allowed a two-run double to Franco after Ben Revere hit a double and Cesar Hernandez was hit by a pitch. Betances’s wildness would continue as he hit Jeff Francoeur with a pitch and would leave the game with runners on first and third.

Nick Rumbelow, who was making his major-league debut, allowed the second batter he faced, Andres Blanco, to hit a triple with the bases loaded. Two of those runs were charged to Betances because they were on base when he left the game. These were only the second, third, fourth and fifth runs that Betances allowed the season, but nobody would have expected him to have fallen apart like this against the Phillies.

Gardner has been a top player in the American League over the last seven days as he has a .516 average (16-31) with four homers, nine RBIs and two steals. He has been outstanding as the leadoff hitter with Jacoby Ellsbury on the disabled list since in the month of June he has a solid .333 average (28-84) with five homers, two triples, 16 RBIs, 22 runs scored and eight steals.

Didi Gregorius popped up to shortstop with runners on first and third and one out in the seventh inning with the score tied a six. Pirela then struck out to end the scoring threat that the Yankees had.

This was a game that the Yankees needed to win because the Phillies have the worst overall record in baseball and had lost their previous 12 road games coming into this series.

The Yankees (38-33), who are now two games behind the surprising Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the AL East, will look to avoid the sweep when Ivan Nova makes his season debut Wednesday afternoon.

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  1. Pingback: Discover: Wednesday Wonderings « MLB.com Blogs

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