MLB

Yankees fall to Rays after Brian Cashman calls out team’s brutal stretch

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Yankees arrived at Tropicana Field on Tuesday in hopes of snapping out of their weeks-long funk.

They even took a lead in the top of the first inning.

But the good feelings did not last long, as a troubling trend continued to sink the Yankees further into their skid.

Carlos Rodon gave up four runs in the first inning in the Yankees’ 5-3 loss to the Rays. Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Rodon gave up four runs before he recorded an out, putting the Yankees into another early hole they could not climb out of as they fell to the Rays, 5-3.

With Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman among those in attendance, the Yankees (55-38) lost for the 17th time in their past 23 games, and Rodon’s first-inning troubles worsened while his early dependence on his fastball backfired once again.

“I need to be better,” said Rodon, who owns a 10.57 ERA over his past five starts after posting a 2.93 ERA through his first 14 starts of the season. “Just not really giving my team a chance to win, giving up runs early.”

Ben Rice clubbed a two-run home run off lefty reliever Colin Poche in the seventh inning to pull the Yankees within a run at 4-3.

But that was as close as they would get as the Rays (45-46) snapped their own three-game losing streak.

Before the game, Cashman met with reporters and acknowledged the Yankees’ struggles while expressing confidence they could turn it around.

Carlos Rodon asks for a new ball during the first inning of the Yankees’ loss. AP

But they fell flat in their latest chance to do so.

Rodon’s ERA in the first inning now stands at 9.00 through 19 starts.

In four of his past five starts, he has given up leads of 4-1, 5-0, 3-0 and 3-0 in the first inning.

His ERA in the second inning is 5.68 but falls off to 3.05 in innings three through seven.

Isaac Paredes hits a three-run homer off Carlos Rodon during the first inning of the Yankees’ loss. Jefferee Woo/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA Press Wire

“I think it’s partially, I try to attack with fastballs in the zone, and they’ve been getting on some heaters,” Rodon said. “We get out there in the second, we start mixing, we mix changeups, we mix curveballs. I got to make that adjustment as the game begins, just ready to use the whole arsenal from the get-go.”

Manager Aaron Boone thought Tuesday’s struggles were more due to Rodon’s lack of command than his pitch mix, but of his first 14 pitches — all it took for the Rays to jump ahead 4-1 — nine were fastballs and four were sliders before he began to mix in others more regularly.

Handed a 1-0 lead before he took the mound, Rodon quickly gave it back.

Yandy Diaz led off with a single then came around to score when Randy Arozarena roped a double down the left-field line that Alex Verdugo had trouble fielding cleanly in the corner.

Ben Rice hits a two-run home in the seventh inning of the Yankees’ loss. AP

Amed Rosario followed with a single before Rodon left a 96 mph fastball over the heart of the plate — intended to be high and away — that Isaac Paredes drilled for a three-run homer to left field for the 4-1 lead.

“That’s gotta be a shutdown inning after [we] score one,” said Rodon, who lasted just four innings because he had to throw 30 pitches in the first and 31 in the third. “That’s tough to swallow.”

Boone left the door open for getting “creative” in how to solve Rodon’s problems early.

Randy Arozarena steals second base, beating the tag of Gleyber Torres during the fifth inning of the Yankees’ loss. AP

“I know [pitching coach] Matt Blake and the pitching guys will get with Carlos and see if there’s something we can unlock in the first, because once he gets settled, it seems like he’s got a lot of ways of getting you out,” Boone said.

For now, the Yankees’ nosedive only picked up more steam as they extended the majors’ worst record since June 15 (5-16).

“It starts with me,” Boone said. “I filter in through the coaches, and it’s about us trying to get these guys prepared the best we can, setting a tone with how we present ourselves. But it’s on us as coaches to put our players in the best position possible to go out there and be successful.”

news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news