The day began with the glum news of another setback for Derek Jeter and his attempt to recover from a broken ankle.
Hours later, the day concluded with one of few times the Yankees have experienced disappointment on the field in the last two weeks.
A second error on a catcher’s interference by Francisco Cervelli in the 12th inning opened the floodgates in what ultimately became a 6-2 loss to the Diamondbacks late last night.
The Yankees lost for just the second time in nine games following their dreadful 1-4 start. They did so after general manager Brian Cashman announced that Jeter would be out until at least the All-Star break, meaning Eduardo Nunez will handle shortstop in the interim.
“It’s not what we wanted, that’s for sure,” manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s disappointing. I know it’s extremely disappointing for him because he’s so used to being here with us. It’s something that we’re going to have to really fight through and some guys are going to really have to step up in his absence and hopefully we’ll get him back sometime after the All-Star break.”
Nunez had a chance to come through with the winning hit with two on and two out in the 11th against Heath Bell. He gave Bell a tough at-bat by fouling off two fastballs but on a 2-2 pitch he lined out to left fielder Cody Ross.
The next time the Yankees batted the game was no longer tied. Ross lived up to his reputation for getting big hits by delivering a one-out bases-loaded single off David Phelps.
The bases were loaded because Cervelli was called for catcher’s interference on a 0-1 pitch to Paul Goldschmidt. Cervelli also was called for interference in the ninth against rookie Didi Gregorius but that did not cost the Yankees.
“You don’t see it twice usually,” Girardi said. “They took some really late swings and he was probably a little too close.”
“They were a little late on their swings,” Cervelli said. “I was too close their hitters twice. It’s not an excuse.”
Cervelli’s ninth-inning home run might have won the game and his second error of the night might have never happened had the Yankees been able to produce for the first eight innings.
The lineup produced two hits off Patrick Corbin, an upstate New York native who grew up a Yankee fan. One of those hits was a solo home run by Robinson Cano with one out in the sixth.
Cervelli’s home run also could have been the game-winner but the Yankees came up empty in the eighth as Cano and Youkilis struck out with the bases loaded.
Phil Hughes was in line for a tough-luck loss after allowing solo home runs to Gregorius and Martin Prado among six hits in seven innings.
Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.