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
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 11,…

Caleb's not a ghost. Spencer might still be an attempted murderer. And Hanna's going to die next week. In other words, we actually got some…

Movies

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

Marvel Entertainment's Stan Lee is adding outposts to his creative empire to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.

Television

Mira Sorvino explores immortality on 'Intruders'

Mira Sorvino's new show "Intruders" centers around a secret society that achieves immortality by taking over the bodies of other people.

Television

5 things you need to know about new…

"Doctor Who" returns Saturday with a new star, Peter Capaldi. Here's some things to know about him (mainly his turn as sweary spin doctor Malcolm Tucker).

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Parenting

How everyday moments can inspire kids' creativity

"The Artist's Way for Parents" author Julia Cameron gives advice on how parents and children can be creative together.

Tech

How to stay safe online

Stop worrying about keeping your online passwords safe, and start worrying about keeping your username a secret. Actually, worry about both. According to Shaun Murphy…

Tech

OpenTable now lets you pay your bill via…

The restaurant app OpenTable added the ability to pay your bill (and tip) with your phone, thus cutting back on a few dining annoyances.