NEW YORK (AP) — Gerrit Cole shook his head, disgusted. Aaron Hicks put hands on hips and bowed his head. By the end of the afternoon, pretty much all of the New York Yankees were appalled, along with their loudly booing fans.
Yoshi Tsutsugo hit a tiebreaking double off Cole in the seventh inning that lifted the Tampa Bay Rays to a 4-2 win Sunday and a three-game sweep that extended the Yankees’ losing streak to five games. New York fell to an AL-worst 5-10, its poorest start since 1997.
“I’m frustrated, personally frustrated,” said AL batting champion DJ LeMahieu, who concluded the Yankees were “tight and pressing.”
“No one’s going to feel sorry for us,” he said. “No one’s going to throw softer or throw easier for us. We’ve got to find it within ourselves to to continue to get better and play the way we’re capable of.”
Opener Andrew Kittredge, Ryan Yarbrough (1-2), Diego Castillo and Jeffrey Springs (first big league save) combined on the Rays’ second three-hitter of a series in which New York managed 11 hits in all. Tampa Bay outscored the Yankees 17-7, and New York pushed across just three runs other than on homers.
“We got great players in that room,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone insisted. “They do know that at their core, obviously, we’re getting punched in the mouth right now.”
Cole (2-1) was hurt by slipshod defense that made three mistakes in the Rays’ two-run third inning alone, two by Hicks in center and one by Clint Frazier in left. One of the three runs off Cole was unearned, giving the Yankees a major league-high.
Joey Wendle added a ninth-inning homer off Darren O’Day, prompting boos from the crowd of 10,606, who saved their loudest jeers for the final out.
New York has lost five straight for the first time since…