Yankees lose to Red Sox 5-3

With each loss, pressure builds as trade deadline looms
New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda reacts during the fifth inning Friday against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Pineda gave up five runs on three home runs in five innings in the 5-3 loss.
New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda reacts during the fifth inning Friday against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Pineda gave up five runs on three home runs in five innings in the 5-3 loss.

A critical New York Yankees’ homestand started on Friday with another disappointing defeat. And with the Aug. 1 trade deadline drawing nearer, precious time is ticking off the clock.

Boston Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright froze the Yankees’ bats for through the first five innings on Friday night, long enough for Boston to build a five-run lead against Michael Pineda at Yankee Stadium.

Ryan Hanigan, Travis Shaw and Xander Bogaerts each hit home runs off Pineda in a 5-3 Red Sox win.

For the Yanks, their first game following the All-Star break sent them back under the .500 mark (44-45) again, while second-place Boston (50-38) has lately cemented its case as a contender — including the acquisitions of Padres’ starter Drew Pomeranz and Arizona reliever Brad Ziegler.

The Yankees? They’re attempting to re-try Alex Rodriguez as a first baseman.

Batting sixth as the designated hitter, A-Rod’s fifth-inning infield single was the first hit off Wright (11-5), who retired the first 14 Yankees he faced.

Hanigan’s third-inning solo shot, Shaw’s two-run homer in the fifth and Bogaerts’ two-run homer in the sixth built a 5-0 lead off Pineda (3-9), who was pulled with none out in the sixth.

Carlos Beltran’s two-run single highlighted a three-run sixth against Wright, cutting the deficit to 5-3. But Wright made it through the sixth and three Boston relievers finished off the Red Sox’s fifth straight win.

Earlier this week, general manager Brian Cashman put the burden on his players to come out firing, saying, “if the guys want to stay together and fight for something as a group, we have to win these games.

“If not, there’ll be tough choices to make. We’ve already been having difficult conversations, but there’s still time on the clock.”

As the Yankees conducted early batting practice on Friday afternoon at the Stadium, A-Rod worked out at first base.

“He came to us (with the idea),” manager Joe Girardi said of his struggling slugger. “That he wants to try to get comfortable (at the position) is a good sign.”

A year ago, Rodriguez gave no indication that he wanted any part of even making a rare cameo at first base. He played just two games at the position in 2015, making one start and committing one error.

By May 23, 2015, the experiment had ended.

“Last year, we were not able to get him comfortable,” Girardi said. “So obviously, if he can do it, he gives us more flexibility if he’s comfortable.”

Due to his weak .198/.237/.333 slash line against right-handed pitching over the first half, A-Rod had lately found himself in a reduced role.

Rodriguez, who turns 41 on July 27, started only one of the 10 games on the Yankees’ pre-All Star break road trip, but he’s likely to start all three games against Boston; the Red Sox are scheduled to start lefties today and Sunday.

“It’s not necessarily a change in my thinking,” Girardi said of starting Rodriguez on Friday. The decision was mostly based on the idea of playing as many experienced hands as possible against a knuckleballer.

As for his latest foray at first base, “I think it’s a mental test for him,” Girardi said. “Physically, I think he has the skills, he has the hands, he has the ability to throw, he understands the game.”

It just comes down to the comfort factor.

But it’s an experiment that seems rooted in desperate times both for the club and Rodriguez. Mark Teixeira’s balky right knee, which requires him to rest after three or four straight starts, is another reason to give it a shot.

Girardi felt that A-Rod “looked fairly comfortable” in his limited work Friday at first base. “There were times last year, I know, I would have loved to have had that option.”


ab r h bi ab r h bi

Betts rf 5 0 1 0 Gardner lf 4 0 0 0

Pedroia 2b 4 1 1 0 Ellsbry cf 3 1 0 0

Bogarts ss 5 1 1 2 Beltran rf 4 0 1 2

Ortiz dh 4 0 1 0 McCann c 4 0 0 1

Ramirez 1b 4 0 1 0 Tixira 1b 4 0 0 0

BrdlyJr cf 3 1 0 0 Rodrguz dh 4 0 1 0

Shaw 3b 3 1 1 2 Grgorus ss 3 0 0 0

Holt lf 3 0 1 0 Castro 2b 3 1 1 0

Hanigan c 4 1 1 1 Headley 3b 2 1 1 0

Totals 35 5 8 5 Totals 31 3 4 3

Boston 001 022 000—5

NY Yankees 000 003 000—3

LOB—New York 3, Boston 7. HR—Bogaerts (11), Hanigan (1), T.Shaw (10).



Wrght W, 11-5 6 3 3 3 1 4

Ziegler H, 1 1 0 0 0 0 0

Ross Jr. H, 3 1 1 0 0 0 1

Uehara S, 5 1 0 0 0 0 1

NY Yankees

Pineda L, 3-9 5 5 5 5 1 6

Shreve 2-3 1 0 0 2 0

Goody 1 0 0 0 1 1

Eovaldi 1 1-3 2 0 0 0 1

Chapman 1 0 0 0 0 2

Inherited runners-scored—Eovaldi 1-0, Goody 3-0. HBP—Headley (by S.Wright).

Umpires—Home, Sam Holbrook; First, Gerry Davis; Second, Carlos Torres; Third, Rob Drake.

T—3:05. A—47,439 (52,325).

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