NEW YORK — Taking a one-run lead into the eighth inning, after seven sparkling frames from Gerrit Cole, Yankees manager Aaron Boone had to feel pretty good about his club's chances against the visiting Royals.
The skipper brought Jonathan Loaisiga in from the bullpen, a right-hander that's been practically unhittable all month.
Instead of another scoreless outing from the reliever, however, Loaisiga allowed four earned runs to score in one of his worst performances of the season. The meltdown inning from Loaisiga didn't just give the Royals a three-run lead, it turned out to be just enough insurance in a 6-5 victory at Yankee Stadium.
New York made Royals fans sweat it out in the ninth, putting the winning run on first base, but veteran Greg Holland was able to extinguish the rally, getting Brett Gardner to pop out behind third and end the game.
Loaisiga entered play on Tuesday with a career-long 14.1 scoreless inning streak (dating back to May 23). He wasn't able to get through one inning against Kansas City, though, giving up five hits and those four earned runs.
The 26-year-old singled out the movement on his sinker as a reason why he wasn't able to dominate opposing hitters, taking the blame for the loss.
"Definitely a frustrating night for me today," Loaisiga said through the team's interpreter. "I lost the game. Gerrit Cole threw a great game and I lost that for him. Overall just a bad night for me."
Cole started the night with seven innings of two-run ball, allowing only three hits in the process. It was the ace's 13th start of the season allowing two runs or fewer, now tied for the most such outings in baseball.
While New York continues to flex some power—hitting three home runs on Tuesday night—the Yankees also reverted back to their struggles with runners in scoring position.
New York was 0-for-10 with a runner on second or third, stranding 13 on base in the loss.
During each of the final three innings, the Bombers had a runner on second base and couldn't cash in. In the ninth, Gio Urshela set the table, leading off with a single. Strikeouts from Gleyber Torres and Clint Frazier, however, played a key role in holding the bats back from their chance to tie the game.
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