Hiroki Kuroda pitched well, but the bullpen blew it Tuesday night. Credit: Getty Images
If the Yankees were looking for affirmation Mark Teixeira’s right wrist was feeling better, they received it when the first baseman put his bat on a Scott Kazmir fastball for a go-ahead home run in the sixth inning.
But as is the nature of struggling teams, when one thing goes well, another falters and in a big way.
So while Teixeira’s wrist made it through Tuesday night, the Yankee bullpen did not follow suit, extending their struggles to a third straight night with an ugly 5-2 10-inning loss to the Athletics.
“It’s not easy and obviously we said all along that we miss him because he’s a run producer and that’s exactly what he did tonight,” manager Joe Girardi said.
It was what came after Teixeira’s home run that proved to be a struggle.
The normally reliable Dellin Betances had a rare stumble, allowing a run for the second time in his last 11 appearances when Oakland pinch hitter Stephen Vogt doubled. The outing spoiled a win for Hiroki Kuroda, who allowed one run and two hits in 6 2/3 innings worthy of a standing ovation from the crowd.
“Definitely tough because Hiro went out there and he had a great performance you know I felt like I was one pitch away from giving the ball to D-Rob,” Betances said. “And I definitely let the team down today.”
While Betances felt disappointed, Yankee fans had to feel disappointed watching the offense get only one extra-base hit, strand Jacoby Ellsbury on third base in the eighth and waste a one-out pinch hit single by Brian McCann in the ninth.
Eventually that caught up to the Yankees when Adam Warren allowed a long solo home run by Brandon Moss in a three-run 10th inning.
“That was just a back door slider that caught the middle of the plate [and] he got it,” Warren said.
Teixeira returned after missing two games and five of the previous seven. He missed three games in St. Louis and then returned for the first 14 1/2 innings against the Twins before departing in the sixth on Saturday and getting a cortisone shot.
Teixeira described leaving that game as going back to “square one” and without him the Yankees were outscored 18-4 while also struggling defensively.
While that was going on, Teixeira was conferring with doctors and Monday night the Yankees said they heard good things about his prognosis. Teixeira said the same thing before making it through batting practice without incident.
Kazmir held the Yankees to five hits in seven innings.
Eventually Kuroda and Teixeira’s success meant little in the bottom line for the Yankees because of more struggles at the plate.
"Just got to keep running them out there and they have to get the job done,” Girardi said. “That is the bottom line. We have had different people in the lineup and everybody has had a shot. We just got to continue to try to put out what we feel is the best matchups against certain people and we have to get it done."