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German takes rare loss in opener vs. Tribe

June 7, 2019

CLEVELAND -- Domingo Germán's magnificent season has hit its first speed bump. The right-hander had his six-game winning streak snapped on Friday, when he allowed four runs -- three on a pair of homers -- in six innings in the Yankees' 5-2 loss to the Indians at Progressive Field. •

CLEVELAND -- Domingo Germán's magnificent season has hit its first speed bump.

The right-hander had his six-game winning streak snapped on Friday, when he allowed four runs -- three on a pair of homers -- in six innings in the Yankees' 5-2 loss to the Indians at Progressive Field.

Box score

Though German (9-2) remains tied for the MLB lead in victories with the Astros’ Justin Verlander and the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, he was ineffective for the third start in a row and lost for the first time since April 18.

“It’s one of those things that happen in baseball,” German said. “I know this is something I can definitely fix. Just a couple of minor things to adjust and I’ll be back where I need to be.”

The numbers argue otherwise. German posted back-to-back no-decisions against Kansas City and Boston before losing to Cleveland, unable to pitch into the seventh each time. More troubling, he has given up seven homers and recorded an 8.59 ERA over 14 2/3 total innings during that span.

New York was up, 2-0, after three innings on Friday before squandering the lead. Tyler Naquin hit a solo homer in the fifth to tie the score at 2, and Carlos Santana delivered the biggest blow, a go-ahead two-run shot in the sixth inning.

“I actually think he’s close to being the guy we saw earlier in the season,” manager Aaron Boone said. “They strung together some good at-bats, and that’s a good hitting team.

“You want to keep the ball in the ballpark, obviously, but Naquin got hold of one. And Carlos Santana hit a changeup out, but that’s a good hitter who is pretty locked in now.”

German also was unfazed by his ongoing struggles, even after absorbing his first defeat in six road decisions this year. His eight consecutive starts without a loss was the Yankees’ longest streak since J.A. Happ had 11 in 2018.

“I have faith in myself and the team and in pitching,” said German, who was 9-1 with a 2.60 ERA prior to his last three outings. “These are the consequences when you miss pitches like that. I’m just getting started.”

The evening began on a good note for New York, as shortstop Didi Gregorius made his season debut, going 2-for-4, completing his eight-month comeback from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

Gregorius singled in his first two at-bats, including a sharp drive to right field on the initial pitch he saw from Indians starter Zach Plesac (1-1).

Former Cleveland prospect Clint Frazier opened the scoring for New York with an RBI double in the second, and Aaron Hicks hit a solo shot in the third.

The Yankees have homered in a season-high 11 straight games, hitting 19 during the span, which began on May 26.