Yankees 4-5 Reds: Judge-led New York rally falls short of a comeback

New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge hits a single during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Tuesday, July 2, 2024, in New York.
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
John Allen
Tuesday July 2, 2024

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New York Yankees 4-5 Cincinnati Reds

NEW YORK — Young sensation Elly De La Cruz delivered a standout performance at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, spoiling the Yankees’ night. Despite Aaron Judge hitting his league-leading 32nd home run, the Bronx Bombers fell to the Cincinnati Reds, 5-4. De La Cruz, in his debut at the historic ballpark, tripled and homered to lead the Reds’ offense.

The Yankees’ pitching faltered in the fifth inning, giving up a four-run rally to the Reds. Will Benson and Elly De La Cruz each hit two-run homers, pushing Cincinnati to a comfortable 5-0 lead.

Despite Aaron Judge extending his MLB lead in batting average (.321), home runs (32), and RBIs (83) with a solo shot in the seventh inning, the Yankees’ offense struggled to overcome the early deficit. Their recent woes continued with their 11th loss in the last 15 games.

Yankees Struggles Continue Despite Judge’s Heroics

Despite a historic performance by Reds outfielder Elly De La Cruz, the Yankees’ offense faltered once again in a losing effort. De La Cruz, in his 183rd big league game, tripled and homered for the fifth time, tying Ted Williams for the most such instances within a player’s first 185 games since 1901.

Although De La Cruz provided early fireworks, the Yankees managed only three runs in the sixth inning against starter Graham Ashcraft, who cruised to his third consecutive victory. The Reds’ bullpen shut down any further comeback attempts, with Alexis Díaz securing his 18th save of the season.

The Yankees’ starting pitching woes continued as rookie Luis Gil suffered his third straight loss. After an impressive start to his season, going 9-1 with a 2.03 ERA in his first 14 outings, Gil has struggled recently, allowing four runs in just over four innings. His recent performance has been marked by three walks and two hit batters, a stark contrast to his dominant early season form.

Even a three-hit night, including a home run, from league leader Aaron Judge wasn’t enough to salvage the game. The Yankees remain mired in a slump, having dropped 11 of their last 15 contests.

Yankees’ Pitching Falters as Offense Scrambles for Runs

The Yankees‘ pitching unraveled in the fifth inning, allowing a decisive rally that put the game out of reach. With one out, Stuart Fairchild was hit by an 0-2 changeup, setting the stage for Will Benson’s go-ahead blast. Benson launched his ninth homer of the season, sending a fastball into the netting above Monument Park to put the Reds on the board.

Another hit-by-pitch, this time to Jonathan India, ended Yankees starter Luis Gil’s night and brought in left-hander Caleb Ferguson. Ferguson’s birthday wasn’t much of a celebration, as Elly De La Cruz greeted him with a two-run homer on a 2-0 fastball.

The Yankees’ offense finally showed some life in the sixth, but it came too late. Gleyber Torres drove in a run with a single, knocking out Reds starter Graham Ashcraft. Rookie Ben Rice then plated two more with a double off reliever Nick Martinez.

Unfortunately, the Yankees’ rally fizzled out, leaving them with a deficit they couldn’t overcome. Cincinnati added another run in the seventh thanks to a single by Jeimer Candelario, who snapped an 0-for-18 slump.

The Yankees Roster

Up Next

Yankees lefty Carlos Rodón will aim to end a three-start skid when he takes the mound on Wednesday against the Reds’ Andrew Abbott. Rodón was riding high on a seven-game winning streak before his recent struggles. Meanwhile, Abbott has been on fire, winning four of his last five outings.

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