DENVER (AP) — The optimism of last week has vanished. The New York Yankees are skidding again.
Ivan Nova gave up five runs and 10 hits in five innings Wednesday, and the Colorado Rockies beat the Yankees 6-3.
After moving over .500 on Friday for the first time since they were 4-3, the Yankees (31-34) have lost four straight. They are 13-20 on the road.
“This is an important month,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We can’t keep having months where we’re not making up ground. If you are losing ground, it’s going to be tough catching up.”
DJ LeMahieu had three hits and finished a homer short of the cycle, and Nolan Arenado tied for the major league lead with his 20th homer and drove in three runs for the Rockies.
A day after Colorado defeated the Yankees and Nathan Eovaldi 13-10, Chad Bettis (5-5) allowed three runs — two earned — and seven hits in six innings. He had been 0-3 with an 11.66 ERA since winning at St. Louis on May 17. The Rockies have won four straight.
Nova (5-4) was disappointed with his performance, especially in Colorado’s four-run fifth.
“I didn’t throw the ball over the plate,” he said. “Early on I was throwing my pitches where I wanted. I was trying to do the same thing I was doing the whole game. That inning I made some mistakes.”
Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu had three hits each for the Rockies, who have won four straight. Carlos Estevez pitched the ninth for his third save, completing a pitching performance by the Rockies that induced 16 ground-ball outs.
LeMahieu was hit on the helmet with a pitch by Anthony Swarzak in the sixth and stayed in the game. Rockies reliever Miguel Castro threw two pitches near the head of Austin Romine in the seventh, prompting a warning to the pitcher and both benches from plate umpire Gabe Morales.
“My problem was when they did it was close to the head,” Girardi said. “Put it in the rear end, not close to the head. I know (LeMahieu) took it in the head, and I was concerned for the kid. But then you put it on his rear end and not the head.”
Bettis retired his first nine batters before the Yankees took a 2-1 lead in the fourth when Didi Gregorius singled in a run and Aaron Hicks reached on an infield hit, a slow roller that catcher Tony Wolters threw down the right-field for a run-scoring error.
Colorado went ahead for good in a four-run fifth after Nova walked Blackmon leading off. LeMahieu hit a tying single, Arenado followed with a two-run homer and Mark Reynolds capped the rally with an RBI single. Arenado tied Baltimore’s Mark Trumbo for the major league home run lead.
LeMahieu added a run-scoring triple in the eighth against Aroldis Chapman.
Yankees: OF Carlos Beltran was scratched from the lineup with a sore left knee for the second straight game and said he had fluid drained Tuesday. “I had a cortisone shot. The cortisone worked,” Beltran said. “Yesterday, it was painful. When I woke up this morning I was 50 percent better.” … 1B Mark Teixeira (torn right knee cartilage) could start a minor league injury rehabilitation assignment as early as next week. He went on the 15-day DL on June 4.
Yankees: LHP CC Sabathia (4-4, 2.28) is to start Thursday’s series opener at Minnesota, which goes with RHP Kyle Gibson (0-4, 6.49). Sabathia has pitched 12 consecutive scoreless innings.
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