Yankees Stuck In Reverse
By MIKE FITZPATRICK AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Scott Feldman shut down the slumping New York Yankees again, and Robbie Grossman snapped a seventh-inning tie with a two-run single that sent the Houston Astros to a 5-2 victory Wednesday night.
Dexter Fowler had an RBI double, Jose Altuve added a run-scoring single, and the Astros (54-73) did more damage to New York’s playoff chances with their fourth victory in five meetings this season. Houston, which has finished with the worst record in the majors each of the past three years, won a series at Yankee Stadium for the first time in four tries.
The fourth-place Astros improved to 4-7 in the Bronx and will go for a three-game sweep Thursday afternoon.
Stephen Drew hit his first homer for New York, and Jacoby Ellsbury drove in a run with a bunt single. But the Yankees (63-61) lost for the seventh time in nine games and dropped five games out of a playoff spot.
They are 2 for 17 with runners in scoring position during the series and have totaled 20 runs in their last nine games, never scoring more than four in that stretch.
Ellsbury flied out with two on to end it. New York stranded 10 in all.
Feldman (7-9) matched a career high by throwing 121 pitches in 6 2-3 innings. He gave up two runs and eight hits, striking out seven.
The right-hander tossed 6 2-3 shutout innings to beat the Yankees on opening day. Houston had lost his previous six road starts, but he entered with a 2.30 ERA during four straight quality starts against New York.
Making his second start since a long injury layoff, Michael Pineda took a 2-1 lead into the seventh. He threw 89 pitches and was pulled after a leadoff walk to Jason Castro.
Looking to rest his best relievers following a heavy workload the past few days, Yankees skipper Joe Girardi turned to David Huff (2-1) and Esmil Rogers. They failed miserably, ruining the manager’s bobblehead night.
Houston smacked five straight one-out singles, four off Rogers. No. 9 batter Jake Marisnick tied it with a single to left, Grossman put the Astros up 4-2, and Altuve added an RBI single as the boos increased for Rogers.
Kevin Chapman struck out Ellsbury with runners at second and third to end the bottom half. Jose Veras worked the ninth for his first save since Sept. 2, 2013, with Detroit.
Seemingly resigned to trying small ball, the Yankees went 4 for 5 on stolen base attempts in the first five innings. But one pitch after Chase Headley was caught at second in the fourth, Drew hit his fifth home run of the season. The other four came with Boston before a July 31 trade.
Astros: Altuve has 46 stolen bases, but only five in the past 34 games. Houston manager Bo Porter, however, doesn’t think the diminutive All-Star is wearing down. “I just think he’s picking his spots,” Porter said. “I think the guys that are coming up behind him are benefiting from his patience.”
Yankees: Slumping DH-RF Carlos Beltran sat out because of discomfort in his troublesome right elbow and was scheduled to be examined by a doctor. “I’m not really sure what it means. Hopefully, it’s just a day or two,” Girardi said.
LHP Dallas Keuchel (10-8, 3.11 ERA) makes his first career start against the Yankees in the series finale. RHP Brandon McCarthy is 4-2 with a 2.30 ERA in seven outings for New York since he was acquired from Arizona in early July.
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