Yankees’ offense sputters in 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay

 

Ivan Nova had not thrown a curveball to a major-league hitter in the three weeks since getting Ike Davis out in a relief stint on May 29 against the Mets.

So perhaps it’s not surprising he was a bit apprehensive about throwing one even as three of the first four hitters reached and Tampa Bay scored a run while getting good swings on his fastball.

Nova took the loss as the Yankees scored only once during his 6 2/3 innings, but he did turn in his best outing of the season during Sunday’s 3-1 loss to the Rays. The game was decided on James Loney’s two-run single off Boone Logan with two outs in the seventh.

Nova allowed three runs and seven hits in his first start since injuring his elbow in the third inning against Toronto on April 26. He got beat on his fastball in the opening inning but started using it more and it resulted in six of his seven strikeouts, including two against potential tying runs in Yunel Escobar and Matt Joyce in the fifth.

“It was good,” Nova said. “My curveball was good today. When I have it I can throw it any time.”

“He left a couple of fastballs up,” manager Joe Girardi said. “After that he was really good.”

Nova appeared to tire as he reached the 100-pitch mark and was unable to finish the seventh as he hit Desmond Jennings and Zobrist with pitches. After Shawn Kelley loaded the bases by walking Longoria, Logan gave up a two-run single to Loney.

Nova was making a spot start after pitching well in Triple-A and his return was due to Tuesday’s rainout against the Dodgers. He entered with a 5.16 ERA and would have lowered it to 4.30 had Logan not allowed the two inherited runs.

Despite taking the loss, Nova likely put himself back in the conversation to stay in the rotation. The Yankees sent him down because they didn’t want him to sit idle as a long reliever. The team has not make a decision on whether he will have another start soon after he spent three weeks in the International League working on consistency.

“You don’t want to get sent down, but sometimes it helps,” Nova said.

The decision could hinge on how Phil Hughes performs this week. Hughes struggled in the nightcap of Wednesday’s doubleheader and will take a 5.09 ERA into Thursday’s start against Texas.

“You see the way he pitched today,” Girardi said. “He made it real hard.”

When asked if he should stay in the majors, Nova said, “I gotta say yes.”

The Yankees actually faced a nearly identical situation to Saturday when pinch hitter Vernon Wells hit a bases-clearing double in the seventh against hard-throwing left-hander Jake McGee. This time, he didn’t see a fastball and flied out on a first-pitch fastball for the second out of the seventh.

The only Yankees to generate much offense were Brett Gardner and rookie Zoilo Almonte. They were a combined 5-for-8 while the rest of the lineup was 2-for-24.

The loss dropped the Yankees to 1-23 when scoring two runs or fewer.

Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.