Clay Holmes blows another save to sink Yankees into loss to Cardinals

The Yankees would have found a way to win the game they played Friday night in the first half of the season.

This is no longer the first half of the season.

Closer Clay Holmes struggled for a second consecutive appearance, coming in in the eighth inning and giving up an infield hit, a walk and a two-run, go-ahead double to Paul DeJong, while the Yankees lost their third straight, 4 -3 to the Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

With a reconfigured bullpen, manager Aaron Boone went to Holmes in the bottom of the eighth with a 3-2 lead. Boone later said that Aroldis would have thrown Chapman in the ninth if the Yankees were still leading.

“It’s not easy for us at the moment,” Boone said of his team, which is 70-36 but only 12-16 over the last 28 games.

Holmes wasn’t the only culprit. The Yankees scored only three runs and didn’t score at all after the fifth, despite an outhit by St. Louis 10-5.

Clay Holmes reacts after giving up a two-run double in the eighth inning.
Clay Holmes reacts after giving up a two-run double in the eighth inning.
AP
Clay Holmes blew another save.
Clay Holmes blew another save.
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“It’s pretty frustrating,” said Matt Carpenter, who had two hits and a near-home run but grounded out to end the game with the tying score first. control. They kept it close and put us away.”

The eighth inning started innocently, as Holmes gave up a soft infield hit to Nolan Arenado with one out. He then walked Tyler O’Neill with two outs before DeJong – now 5-for-7 against Holmes – doubled.

“Something that has made me successful is limiting contact with legal entities,” Holmes said. “Giving up a double down the line, especially with runners on, can’t happen.”

The fact that Chapman has been throwing better lately, as well as the addition of Scott Effross (who took over from the Cubs on Monday and threw well in 1 ¹/₃ innings on Friday) and Lou Trivino on the deadline make for a much different bullpen along the piece.

“Hopefully we will all roll as we are able and [Chapman] building momentum,” Boone said. “We have a lot of options there.”

Nestor Cortes will pitch during the Yankees' loss to the Cardinals on Friday.
Nestor Cortes will pitch during the Yankees’ loss to the Cardinals on Friday.
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That would allow Holmes to attack right-handers in the seventh, eighth or ninth, but he’s been less effective lately.

Nestor Cortes threw well, but wasn’t as sharp as usual, finishing a season high with four walks in just 5 ¹/₃ innings.

The Yankees took the lead in the top of the first inning after DJ LeMahieu led off with a walk. Aaron Judge flied out, but LeMahieu advanced to third base on a Carpenter single.

With two outs, Josh Donaldson drilled an RBI double to center right, LeMahieu scored and sent Carpenter into third place.

The Cardinals tied the score in the bottom of the second inning thanks to a pair of walks by Cortes and a two-out, runscoring single by Yadier Molina.

Matt Carpenter greets Cardinals fans on his return to St. Louis.
Matt Carpenter greets Cardinals fans on his return to St. Louis.
AP
Tyler O'Neill (27) and Nolan Arenado (28) celebrate after scoring in the eighth inning.
Tyler O’Neill (27) and Nolan Arenado (28) celebrate after scoring in the eighth inning.
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Donaldson came with his second RBI of the evening in the third and singled in a run after Judge and Carpenter led off with singles against Dakota Hudson.

Torres delivered in the fifth. After Judge singled and stole second place, he moved to third place on a groundout by Carpenter after Hudson was replaced by Andre Pallante. Torres then reached on an infield hit that forced Judge in to make it 3-1.

Cortes, who had allowed only three runs in 18 innings compared to his previous three starts, got into a groove after Molina’s RBI single and stopped nine consecutive runs to walk in the fifth.

But Cortes also equaled a season high with four walks, including one for Paul Goldschmidt who ended Cortes’ evening with one out in the bottom of the sixth.

Tyler O'Neill finishes first with his RBI single in the sixth inning.
Tyler O’Neill finishes first with his RBI single in the sixth inning.
AP

A wild pitch by Albert Abreu, who took over for Cortes, sent Goldschmidt to second base.

A single by Arenado put runners at the corners before Abreu struckout Nolan Gorman, pinch-hitting for Albert Pujols, for the second out.

But Abreu faltered and allowed a goal by O’Neill to make it 3-2, as Cortes was eventually awarded two runs.

Effross came in and struckout DeJong to hold onto the one-run lead.

Pallante meanwhile took over for Hudson and threw four scoreless innings.

Ryan Hesley completed the game for the Cardinals. After walking LeMahieu with one out in the ninth, Tim Locastro ran a pinch, but Judge and Carpenter couldn’t get through.

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