NEW YORK -- With a crucial four-game series against the first-place Red Sox beginning on Thursday, it appeared as if the Yankees' focus had already shifted to Boston as the club played all too loose against the Orioles in Wednesday's matinee, resulting in a 7-5 loss in the series finale
NEW YORK -- With a crucial four-game series against the first-place Red Sox beginning on Thursday, it appeared as if the Yankees' focus had already shifted to Boston as the club played all too loose against the Orioles in Wednesday's matinee, resulting in a 7-5 loss in the series finale at Yankee Stadium.
Although he had won his previous three starts, Yankees starter Sonny Gray put New York in an early 5-0 hole in the second, allowing RBI base hits to Trey Mancini, Renato Nunez and Timothy Beckham, and his afternoon came to a close after being charged with seven runs in just 2 2/3 innings, causing Yankees manager Aaron Boone to reconsider whether Gray will remain part of the starting rotation.
"That's something that we'll talk about now in the days ahead about what our plans will be going forward," Boone said. "We do have some options now, so we will all get together and try and come up with the best solution, the best options going forward that are going to help us win in the end. That's what it's about. We're not going to be emotional about this now. We will get together and talk about this and see what the best thing is."
An option that the Yankees now have would be to replace Gray with newly acquired right-hander Lance Lynn, who made quite a strong first impression in his Yankees debut, permitting five hits through 4 1/3 scoreless frames in relief and striking out five batters.
"My whole career has been when they tell me to pitch, I go pitch," Lynn said. "I try not to think about anything except getting whatever hitter is in the box out. If I do that, I'll be fine."
Gray said that he hopes he will get the ball again in five days, but knows that it is not his decision to make.
"At the end of the day, I want them to do whatever is best to help us win, whatever that may be," Gray said. "Whatever happens, if I get the ball in five days, then I'm going to take it and I'm going to go compete, and I'm going to do my best and I'm going to try to put us in a good position to win the game. But if not, then I'm going to be right there doing whatever I'm called upon [to do]."
On top of Gray's struggles on the mound, the Yankees' defense was rather lackadaisical, including two plays where Gleyber Torres was late to cover a bag. In the second, Torres was late to cover first base on a bunt by Caleb Joseph that loaded the bases. In the third, he didn't cover second on a ground ball to Didi Gregorius, who looked toward second for the inning-ending forceout before throwing late to first as a run scored.
"I know I missed a play at second base. I really [don't feel good about] that," Torres said. "I'm human. I make errors for sure. ... I try to be professional and be ready for next time and try to [make sure] it won't happen anymore."
Just prior to the 39-minute rain delay in the middle of the third, third-base coach Phil Nevin was caught on camera expressing his frustration regarding the lack of effort by yelling at the players in the dugout.
"Sometimes messages come from a manager so many times, it's different coming from a manager, coming from a coach, coming from teammates," Nevin said. "You'd have to ask all of them how it was received. Like I said, just firing the guys up. We had plenty of time to get back in that game, I think it was only the third inning, so that was it."
The Yankees got on the board in the second on a solo shot to right by Torres and scored in the eighth as Miguel Andujar recorded New York's first hit with the bases loaded since July 11. New York put together a late rally in the ninth as Torres blasted his second homer of the game -- a three-run shot to left with two outs -- but the club was unable to complete the comeback.
Torres is the second player in Yankees history to record at least two multihomer games before turning 22 years old, joining Joe DiMaggio, who had three in 1936. Torres is also the eighth player in Major League history -- and first Yankee -- to hit at least 17 home runs in his first 70 career games before turning 22 years old.
HE SAID IT
"Honestly, I was just frustrated. I think that everyone handles frustrations and handles things differently. I've never in my whole life been a guy, when things aren't going his way, and come off the field and throw a glove or throw a hat or punch something or do anything. I've always been a mellow guy that tries to think things through and get over it and move on, and it's just frustrating. Whether that's good or bad, I don't know. Everyone handles things differently and that's how I've always done it." -- Gray, on smiling as he walked off the field after getting pulled in the third inning
The Yankees will travel to Boston on Thursday to begin a crucial four-game set against the first-place Red Sox in the MLB Network Showcase Game. Carsten Sabathia will get the ball coming off a short 4 2/3-inning outing vs. the Royals. In 41 career starts against Boston, Sabathia has gone 18-13 with a 4.12 ERA. He last faced the Red Sox on June 29 and allowed just one run through seven frames. With Chris Sale now on the disabled list, left-hander Christopher Johnson will get the start for Boston. First pitch is slated for 7:10 p.m. ET from Fenway Park.
Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.