The Yankees lost a nail-biter to the Miami Marlins, 2-1, on Monday night at Marlins Park. Alex Rodriguez had a chance to be the hero in his hometown since he pinch hit with two outs and Brendan Ryan on first base in the ninth, but he popped up to shallow right to end the game. Rodriguez received a standing ovation before he got to home plate, but he was unable to give his fans something to cheer for.
Marlins closer A.J. Ramos was pitching in the ninth inning and the increased amount of noise gave him extra adrenaline. The crowd of 33,961 — Miami’s largest since opening day — included a busload of Rodriguez’s family and friends including his seventh grade coach and kids from the Boys and Girls Club that he went to when he was a kid, as he described it.
“That was the loudest I’ve heard in this stadium,” Ramos said. “I kind of took it in. You’ve got to take those moments in. I was like, `Man, this is really cool.”
Mark Teixeira drove in the only run of the game for the Yankees when he hit a 429-foot homer to right center in the second inning off of Tom Koehler, who is from the Bronx. Didi Gregorius‘s two hits were the only other hits that the Yankees had during the game. They were 0-2 with runners in scoring position and the offense’s lack of production ruined Masahiro Tanaka’s third consecutive 7.0 inning start since coming off of the disabled list.
The Yankees had a few hits taken away from them because of outstanding plays by the Marlins’ fielders. They might have scored a few more runs if some of those were hits instead of outs. “Some really good defensive plays on their part,” Joe Girardi said. “I count six or seven line drives that they caught.”
Tanaka allowed two earned runs in his seven innings while striking out six and not walking anyone. He has had three great starts in a row as he allowed only one run in both of his previous two starts after coming off of the DL. The winning run ended up being Derek Dietrich’s homer near the foul pole off of Tanaka to right in only Dietrich’s third MLB game.
“I thought Tanaka was really good,” Girardi said. “He gave up a run early and a run late but was really good.”
Jose Ramirez came into pitch the eighth inning in relief of Tanaka in his first appearance since being called up from Triple-A Scranton and he allowed a single to Christian Yelich, hit Giancarlo Stanton and walked Justin Bour before being taken out of the game. He was not even close to the strike zone on many of the pitches that he threw.
It appeared that the Marlins were set up for a big inning, but Sergio Santos came into the game and retired all three batters he faced. He got two strikeouts in a row while primarily throwing his nasty curveball and then got Adeiny Hechavarria to line out to shallow right.
Garrett Jones, who was playing against the team he played for in 2014, struck out before Rodriguez came to the plate in the ninth.
The Yankees (34-29), who are now a game out of first place, will look to get back on track on Tuesday night when their offense will go against David Phelps. Nathan Eovaldi (5-1, 4.13 ERA) will get the start for the Yankees, and It is an intriguing pitching matchup since Phelps and Eovaldi were traded for each other last December (Martin Prado, Domingo German and Jones were also in the trade).
Eovaldi allowed a solid three runs in 7.0 innings in his last start and has a 2.92 ERA in June.