Rockies waste late 4-run lead in 9-8 loss to Yankees
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK — The Rockies’ offense gave them the lead, and the bullpen gave it back.
Up 8-4 going into the bottom of the seventh, Colorado lost 9-8 to the Yankees on Starlin Castro’s walkoff home run against Jason Motte on Wednesday.
Leading off the ninth, Castro turned on the second pitch he saw from Motte (0-1), who took the loss on his 34th birthday. Looking for something soft, Castro smashed a changeup to left field to help the Yankees split a two-game series.
Carlos Beltran hit a three-run homer in the seventh as the Yankees tied the score, and Chase Headley also had a second-inning grand slam for New York. Nick Hundley and Ryan Raburn homered for the Rockies.
“You should win that game,” Colorado manager Walt Weiss said.
The Yankees batted around in the seventh, which all started when No. 9 hitter Rob Refsnyder reached base on catcher’s interference by Hundley. Three batters later, Beltran homered of Jordan Lyles to pull New York within 8-7.
Lyles, making his first relief appearance since 2013, retired Alex Rodriguez for the second out, and former Yankee Boone Logan came on for the lefty-lefty matchup against Brian McCann. But after McCann doubled, Castro legged out an infield hit against righty Miguel Castro to keep the inning alive.
Didi Gregorius then singled in McCann on an 0-2 pitch to tie the score. The run was the first charged to Logan in 15 2/3 innings, which had been the longest active streak in the majors.
Yankees starter CC Sabathia, who had allowed just four earned runs total over his previous seven starts, gave up five in 4 1/3 innings Wednesday. He turned his right ankle in the third inning and again in the fifth, and manager Joe Girardi said he took the big lefty out both because of concern about his injury and his struggles.
Aroldis Chapman (1-0) pitched a perfect ninth for the win.
Sabathia allowed six runs and seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts. It was his shortest outing and most runs allowed all season.
Staked to a 4-0 lead on the grand slam, Sabathia immediately got himself in trouble with his pitching and defense. His throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt helped lead to two runs in the third, then Hundley ripped a three-run homer for a 5-4 lead in the fourth.
Sabathia rolled his ankle again on his third pitch of the fifth. Coaches and the trainer rushed to the mound, but Sabathia threw one warmup pitch and pronounced himself fine. After a walk and a forceout, Anthony Swarzak came on to face right-handed slugger Trevor Story.
Story greeted Swarzak with an RBI double to center, followed by Raburn’s two-run homer for the 8-4 lead.
It was the second straight start with a home run for Hundley, who entered the game hitting .229 since coming off the disabled list June 3 but went 2 for 4 on Wednesday.
Rockies: Starter Jon Gray has been dealing with arm fatigue and said “it’s just now getting to a serious point,” but Weiss hopes the rest between starts will be sufficient. Gray allowed just three hits, but walked five in four-plus innings, the only runs coming on the grand slam. Of his 80 pitches, just half were for strikes.
Rockies: RHP Eddie Butler (2-4), taking the injured Tyler Chatwood’s spot in the rotation, makes his eighth start of the season when Colorado opens a seven-game homestand against Arizona on Thursday. Butler is coming off a rough outing in relief of Chatwood in his most recent appearance, allowing six runs and nine hits in 3 1/3 innings Saturday.
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