MINNESOTA – As the Yankees offense struggles, Aaron Judge made it known Monday that he wants the Bombers to score early.
The Yankees had just wrapped up a loss to the Twins and a streak of games where most of the limited runs came in the eighth inning or later. It was a case of too little too late. and Judge hoped to put an end to it.
“We have to try to jump on teams early, score early and put pressure on them,” Judge said. “Right now, we’re kind of taking a while to get into the game, get a feel for it, and we’re just not doing our job. So we have to jump on them early.”
On Tuesday, the Yankees granted their captain’s wish with help from Judge himself. The outfielder singled with two outs in the first, and DJ LeMahieu drove in Judge with a single after the latter advanced on a wild pitch.
But the early run hardly solved the Yankees’ offensive woes, and they dropped another 6-2 loss to Minnesota.
The Yankees’ only run of the game came on an error by the Twins. But the visiting team’s defense wasn’t exactly clear either, which hurt Nestor Cortes.
Minnesota took a 2-1 lead in the third on a pair of doubles by Donovan Solano and Jorge Polanco. Cortes was charged with just one earned run, however, as Anthony Volpe made his third error in as many games.
The Twins added four more runs in the sixth thanks to a pair of two-run homers. The first came off the bat of Byron Buxton — and after Aaron Hicks missed a catchable ball near the left field wall that was ruled a double. Trevor Larnach took Ron Marinaccio deep a few batters late.
Buxton’s blast took Cortes out of the game. Only three of Cortes’ four runs scored were earned, but he hasn’t allowed more than three runs in 16 straight starts.
The southpaw finished the night with one walk, six strikeouts and five strikeouts in five innings of work.
Meanwhile, Joe Ryan shutout the Yankees for the second time this month.
The Twins right-hander posted a nearly identical line to his record on April 13 in the Bronx. That night, Ryan held the Yankees to three hits and one earned run over seven innings while walking none and striking out 10.
Ryan gave up four more hits on Tuesday, but limited the opposition to one earned run and zero walks again while striking out seven.
The Yankees have now scored fewer than four runs in 10 of their last 12 games. They have also lost three in a row for the first time this season.
The Yankees will try to reverse those trends on Wednesday when the series in Minnesota ends. From there, the Yankees head to Texas for four games against the Rangers.