NEW YORK -- Chris Devenski has been so consistently good to begin his career as a reliever that seeing him struggle Sunday afternoon was surprising. The Astros reliever endured the worst outing of his career in relief in an 11-6 loss in Game 1 of a doubleheader vs. the Yankees,
NEW YORK -- Chris Devenski has been so consistently good to begin his career as a reliever that seeing him struggle Sunday afternoon was surprising. The Astros reliever endured the worst outing of his career in relief in an 11-6 loss in Game 1 of a doubleheader vs. the Yankees, allowing three runs and three hits in one-third of an inning.
The Yankees tagged both Will Harris for three runs and Devenski for three runs in a six-run seventh inning that allowed them to race past the Astros and snap their five-game winning streak. The three runs allowed tied a career high in relief for Devenski.
"They put up a big inning," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "Credit to them. They did a good job of beating our best. I think, obviously, pitch execution is always key there. He didn't execute his pitches like he normally does and the inning got away from us. It was a big inning for them."
Devenski entered the game with the Astros leading, 6-5, and runners at first and third base. Starlin Castro laced a double to right field to tie the game, and -- after intentionally walking Aaron Judge and striking out Didi Gregorious -- Chase Headley tripled to right-center to clear the bases. Hinch pulled Devenski from the game after a Chris Carter double.
"Making pitches is one of our strengths out of the pen, and this is going to happen from time to time," Hinch said. "It's not our norm because our guys have been so good and so excellent in executing pitches, so when it doesn't happen it's painful. Make pitches is the key to our bullpen strength. When these guys have a bad day, it's noticeable."
The Yankees were 2-for-3 off Devenski's changeup, which is his best pitch. He struck out Gregorious with it, but Headley hit a changeup for a triple and Carter doubled. Opponents were hitting .098 (4-for-41) off his change coming into the game.
"Those definitely weren't my best changeups," he said. "I didn't really execute well on that fastball to Castro. I wanted it in and it was out over the plate and he put a good piece on it."
Harris began the inning with a two-run lead, but allowed a one-out single to Brett Gardner despite a close pitch that could have been called a strike. Jacoby Ellsbury followed with a double, and Matthew Holliday's single scored Gardner, prompting Hinch to bring in Devenski.
"I couldn't miss barrels today for some reason," Harris said. "Give them all the credit."
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.