The Yankees can't afford to lose any games at this point in the season, falling farther and farther back in the standings with every defeat.
On Tuesday night in Bronx, they dropped a game to the third worst team in baseball, falling to the Houston Astros, 7-4, after a rough night by David Robertson led to a three-run, go-ahead homerun by Chris Carter in the 9th.
New York scored all four of their runs on two separate plays, but two-run scoring events. Brian McCann put the Yankees on the board in the 4th inning with a big two-run blast off of Astros starter Brett Oberholtzer, giving his team a 2-0 lead on his 14th homerun of the season.
If you thought that one two-run homerun from McCann would not be enough to win the game with Chris Capuano on the mound, you were right.
Houston got a run back against Capuano in the 5th inning, cutting the Yankees' lead to 2-1. After a couple of quick outs to open the inning, Gregorio Petit doubled to left ahead of Robbie Grossman, who singled him home.
Dexter Fowler opened up the top of the 6th inning with a triple off of Capuanom then scored a batter later on a groundout to Martin Prado at second base by Jason Castro, trying the game at 2-2. The next two batters singled off of Capuano before Joe Girardi brought in Adam Warren to get out of the mess, which he didn't do.
With runners on first and second, Warren got Jake Marisnick to ground out, moving both runners over 90 feet. A batter later, Marwin Gonzalez hit a two-run single that put the Astros up 4-2.
Capuano went 5.1 innings, giving up four runs on eight hits, while walking two and striking out eight. He threw a lot of pitches in the earlier innings of the game, which came back to hurt him in the 6th, as he would finish with 103.
Some clutch hitting by Prado in the bottom half of the 6th inning leveled the game and put the Yankees right back in it. After Jacoby Ellsbury singled to open the inning, he moved to second base on a balk by Oberholtzer and then Carlos Beltran walked to put a pair of runners on ahead of Prado, who ripped a two-run double into the right field corner, tying the game.
But that was all the Yankees would get because the offense, once again -- for the billionth time -- couldn't do much more.
Oberholtzer was pulled after giving up the double to Prado. He only lasted 5.1 innings, too, giving up four runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out seven on 94 pitches.
The Yankees had a great chance to take the lead in the bottom of the 8th, with Ellsbury reaching third base with just one man down. With the infield playing in, and Ellsbury ready to run on contact, Beltran hit a hard groundball to short, causing Ellsbury to be thrown out a the plate. A batter later, Prado hit what would have been the go-ahead hit with a single to left.
After Warren's two-thirds of an inning in the 6th, Shawn Kelley worked a perfect 7th. Dellin Betances struck out two in a scoreless 8th. And all of that led to Robertson, who blew up in the 9th inning.
After retiring the first hitter of the inning, Robertson walked Grossman and Jose Altuve back-to-back, setting up a three-run bomb by the Carter, putting the Astros up 7-4. Fowler followed up with an infield single, thus ending Robertson's off-night. He was also booed off of the field by Yankees fans because they apparently don't appreciate how great he's been all season.
The Yankees have played four games against the Astros this season, and they have lost three of them. With a win by the Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees, who have six of their last eight games, now stand 9 1/2 games back in the AL East.
The Yankees and Astros will continue this series on Tuesday night in the Bronx with Michael Pineda and Scott Feldman dueling at 7:05 p.m. ET.
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