Yankees commit four errors in ugly loss to woeful Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Yankees were rewarded with a victory on Monday night when they outlasted the Royals, using five relievers in the process.

Aaron Boone said before the game, “I’d like to win some easier going forward from time to time.”

But as much as Boone hoped Monday’s wild 11-inning win would prove to be a spark, reality set in Tuesday, when the Yankees had to let Nestor Cortes pitch into the sixth inning for the first time and then go to the inexperienced Stephen Ridings as the game unravelled. It ended in an 8-4 loss to the Royals in which the Yankees committed a season-high four errors.

The streaking Rays beat the Red Sox for their fifth consecutive victory, so the Yankees fell to seven games back of first-place Tampa Bay in the AL East.

After an RBI single by DJ LeMahieu gave the Yankees a 4-3 lead in the top of the sixth, Salvador Perez took Cortes deep to open the bottom of the inning.

Salvador Perez (right) is congratulated by Nicky Lopez after hitting his second homer of the game in the Yankees' 8-4 loss to the Royals.
Salvador Perez (right) is congratulated by Nicky Lopez after hitting his second homer of the game in the Yankees’ 8-4 loss to the Royals.
AP

Cortes was replaced by Ridings after Emmanuel Rivera’s two-out single in the seventh. Ridings, pitching in his fourth game in the majors, gave up a double to left-center to Dozier, which scored Rivera from first, putting the Royals ahead, 5-4.

The night got worse for Ridings in the seventh. He gave up another booming double to left-center, this one to Michael A. Taylor. Hanser Alberto then bunted back to Ridings, who bounced the throw to first, which got away from LeMahieu. Taylor scored and Alberto moved to second.

Joely Rodriguez replaced Ridings and Lopez dropped down a safety squeeze, which scored Alberto.

Luke Voit committed the Yankees’ fourth error on an Andrew Benintendi grounder to lead off the bottom of the eighth against Nick Nelson.

After a pair of walks by Nelson sent Benintendi to third, he scored on an Alberto sacrifice fly for the third unearned run allowed by the Yankees on the night.

The Yankees had initially overcome a slow beginning to Cortes’ start after the lefty had pitched well in his prior two outings.

Whit Merrifield led off the bottom of the first with a single to center and Perez hit his first of two homers off Cortes, this one a two-run shot to left-center with one out, to give the Royals an early 2-0 lead.

The Yankees got a run back in the third.

Andrew Velazquez drilled a one-out double to center and moved to third on a long fly ball to center by LeMahieu.

Velazquez scored on a wild pitch by Daniel Lynch to make it 2-1.

Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge followed with singles before Joey Gallo whiffed.

Kyle Higashioka put the Yankees up 3-2 with his 408-foot two-run homer in the fourth, after a Rougned Odor walk.

Cortes settled in after the Perez homer, at one point retiring 10 in a row.

The Yankees had a chance to add to their lead when they loaded the bases in the fifth on three walks, but with two out, Domingo Tapia came in and struck out Odor.

After Cortes retired the first two batters in the fifth, Merrifield doubled and stole third. Higashioka’s throw was high and wide, and Odor had to jump over a sliding Merrifield to try to catch it. The ball defected into left field and Merrifield scored on Higashioka’s throwing error, his second of the game, to tie it at 3-3.

The Yankees went up again in the sixth.

Jonathan Davis walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After Velazquez struck out, LeMahieu singled to right to knock in Davis with the go-ahead run before the Yankees let it slip away.

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