Yankees hope to get well at home, face Braves first

MLB: New York Yankees-Workouts

It was a mostly lost weekend for the New York Yankees against the Tampa Bay Rays. Besides continuing their first slump of the abbreviated season, they also lost their one of their big hitters when Giancarlo Stanton tweaked his left hamstring.

The Yankees hope to get back on track Tuesday night when they host the Atlanta Braves in the opener of a two-game series.

New York’s 10-6 record is among the best in the American League, but most of those wins came as the Yankees won eight of their first nine games.

Since then, the Yankees are 2-5. They have been outscored by only four runs in the downturn, but they have struggled to get big hits by going 10-for-44 (.227) with runners in scoring position.

The Yankees dropped three of four against the Rays, only getting an 8-4 win in the first game of a Saturday doubleheader.

On Sunday, they went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and blew a three-run lead in a 4-3 loss.

“Today we had some opportunities,” Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner said. “We just need to be better collectively as a unit.”

Sunday’s defeat came after the Yankees also lost Stanton, who hurt himself running the bases on Saturday. He went on the on the injured list Sunday, and results from an MRI he underwent on Monday were not immediately revealed.

Stanton started 14 games at designated hitter and was batting .293 with three homers and seven RBIs and the Yankees. Mike Ford served as the DH on Sunday.

Whoever is that spot on Tuesday, the Yankees are hoping to get comfortable after playing only four of their first 16 games at home. New York will play its next nine games at home, and with three games after that against the host New York Mets, the Yankees won’t leave the city until visiting Atlanta on Aug. 25.

Despite allowing five homers in a 13-8 loss at Philadelphia on Monday, Atlanta is 9-4 in its past 13 games.

Ronald Acuna Jr. was 0-for-2 Monday but is hitting .364 (12-for-33) in his past 10 games.

“He is a talent that doesn’t come around very often in this game,” Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman said. “It seems like he does more special things every single year.”

Travis d’Arnaud homered Monday and is hitting .400.

Jordan Montgomery (1-1, 5.59 ERA) will be making his third start for the Yankees, who are hoping the left-hander pitches as well as he did in his first start.

On July 31, Montgomery allowed one run on five hits over 5 2/3 innings in a 5-1 win over the Boston Red Sox. He followed it up by allowing five runs in four innings while throwing 95 pitches in a 5-4 loss at Philadelphia.

Touki Toussaint (0-0, 6.08 ERA) will make his ninth career start for Atlanta and third since Mike Foltynewicz was designated for assignment and sent to the alternate site.

After allowing three hits in four scoreless innings in a 7-1 win over the New York Mets on Aug. 1, he allowed three runs on four hits in a career-high 6 2/3 innings while also getting a career-best nine strikeouts in a no-decision Thursday against Toronto.

“I feel like I’m a very high-level competitor,” Toussaint said. “If that opportunity is there, I’m going to keep taking it.”

As a starting pitcher, Toussaint is 2-1 with a 4.62 ERA in eight career outings.

–Field Level Media

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