Yankees suffer overtime loss to Red Sox

It could get worse anytime.

One strike away from getting a much-needed win, the Yankees fell further into a devastating losing streak.

Clay Holmes squandered a two-run lead with two outs in the top of the ninth inning, then Tommy Kahnle gave up a two-run homer in the top of the 10th inning to give the Yankees their fourth consecutive loss, 5-3, to the Red Sox on Friday night in the Bronx.

On a humid night at the stadium, which was interrupted by rain, the Yankees (54-36) were on the verge of an ugly victory.

Tommy Kahnle reacts to Boston Red Sox shortstop Seden Rafaela's two-run homer. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

He made two fielding errors, a costly mistake on the base paths and had just five hits (all singles) entering the ninth inning.

And that was almost enough before the Red Sox (48-39) came to life late, handing the Yankees their 14th loss in their last 18 games.

“We've got to play better than that, no doubt about it,” manager Aaron Boone said. “We certainly understand that and put a lot of investment into it. We've got to play clean baseball, especially when it's tough and things are hard to come by. We've got to be better, that's all.”

Yankees center fielder Trent Grisham couldn't field a two-run homer from Boston Red Sox shortstop Seden Rafaela #43. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Holmes got two outs in the ninth before former Met Dominic Smith tied the game with a pinch-hit single.

That brought Masataka Yoshida to the field, who struggled through an eight-pitch at-bat that ended with a game-tying, two-run homer that silenced the 47,158-strong crowd.

Seden Rafaela then hit a two-run homer off Kahnle to take the lead in the bottom of the 10th inning.

The Yankees built up the bulk of their order against Kenley Jansen in the bottom of the 10th.

Juan Soto followed with a single to put runners on the corners before Jansen struck out Aaron Judge and Alex Verdugo on two pitches and Osvaldo Cabrera homered to end the game.

Yankees relief pitcher Clay Holmes reacts after Boston Red Sox DH Masataka Yoshida hits a two-run homer to tie the game during the 9th inning. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post
Boston Red Sox DH Masataka Yoshida is greeted by Boston Red Sox first baseman Dominic Smith. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

“It’s been brutal,” Anthony Volpe, who was part of a base running error in the third inning, said of the past three weeks. “We play to win and expect to win. Whether we’re winning consistently or this is the case, I think we have a really good clubhouse [that’s] Being the same every day, showing up every day. We trust each other, we trust ourselves and we know that everything is ahead of us.

“That being said, we play to win. We expect to win, we're Yankees. But nobody is too disappointed.”

It was just three weeks ago that the Yankees played the Red Sox in Boston, winning the first game of the series to raise their record to an MLB-best 50-22.

Red Sox shortstop Seden Rafaela hit a two-run homer in the top of the 10th inning, giving the Red Sox the lead. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Since then, they have been mired in a slump of 4-14, and their play is growing more worrying by the day.

On Friday, that included an error on the base paths by Volpe and DJ LeMahieu in the third inning.

Yankees starting pitcher Nestor Cortes #65 reacts after striking out in the bottom of the 6th inning. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

With runners on the corners and one out, Ben Rice hit a sharp ground ball to first base, which Romy Gonzalez fielded, stepped on first base, and threw to second base for a double play.

But LeMahieu did not come in on the rundown between first and second, and Volpe was not running home with much urgency—he said he thought the ball was foul—allowing Rafaela to tag LeMahieu before Volpe touched home to end the inning.

Still, the Yankees were able to take a 3–0 lead in the fourth inning thanks to Tanner Houck.

Yankees center fielder Trent Grisham #12 reacts after striking out during the 9th inning. Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post
Red Sox center fielder Seden Rafaela (43) attempts to tag New York Yankees third baseman DJ LeMahieu (26) at second base during the third inning at Yankee Stadium. USA TODAY SPORTS VIA Reuters CON

The Red Sox right-hander lost his command after a 38-minute rain delay in the middle of the third inning, allowing the Yankees to load the bases and score on an error, walk and groundout.

It looked like that would be enough, as Nestor Cortes pitched strong for six innings of one-run ball and Luke Weaver threw two scoreless innings, including escaping a jam caused by two errors in the eighth.

And then with two outs and two strikes in the ninth, three weeks of hard work became even more excruciating, opening the door to a devastating defeat.

“It can't be denied – it's not like people are ignoring it,” Holmes said. “You know where we are. I think people feel it and you want to be the guy that helps the team win that night. It's just a matter of refocusing, knowing where we are and making sure we're doing our job.”

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