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Clay Holmes takes late lead, Yankees fall to Cardinals 4-3 – The Denver Post

ST. LOUIS — What started as an emotional comeback ended in a disastrous loss for the Yankees. Hours after Matt Carpenter was greeted at Busch Stadium with a standing ovation from the 46,940 fans, Clay Holmes coughed up a one-point lead in the eighth and the Cardinals rallied for a 4-3 victory in Game 1 of the game of three. series between the two iconic franchises.

The Yankees (70-37) have lost three straight. It was only the fourth time this season that they had lost after taking the lead in the eighth inning. They’ve lost three of their last five games and are 6-9 since exiting the All-Star Break and hold just a 0.5-game lead over the Astros for the American League’s best record.

Holmes gave up a one-out single in the field to Nolan Arenado, then walked Tyler O’Neill with two outs. Paul DeJong lined up a lead in right field to drive in two runs. It was the first time this season that Holmes had allowed runs in back-to-back games, after giving up three runs against the Royals on Sunday. The lost lead on Friday was the fourth lead he has surrendered in his last 10 appearances. In his last nine appearances, Holmes, who went 31 scoreless innings earlier this season, allowed nine earned runs.

It spoiled another solid start from Nestor Cortes, who allowed two earned runs on one hit and four walks. He struck out four in 5.1 innings pitched. It was his third start in five or more innings allowing one run or less.

Aaron Judge and Josh Donaldson each had two hits. It was Judge’s 36th multi-hit game of the season, most in the majors. Andrew Benintendi, who was 1 for 23 as a Yankee, had a two-out double in the eighth. It was his first hit out of the infield.

With Judge on board in the first, Carpenter came to the plate for an extended standing ovation. Then he did what he couldn’t do too often in the last two years he was here; he had a productive at-bat.

Carpenter picked him in the scoring position and the Yankees slugger scored on Donaldson’s double to the right-field wall. In the third, Carpenter struck again.

A three-time All-Star and career .263/.369/.457 hitter who hit 36 ​​home runs in 2018, left St. Louis after two seasons with less than .200 and with seven home runs in 180 games. The Cardinals bought out the option on his contract, and Carpenter spent the winter working — sometimes with former teammate Matt Holiday — and then on a minor league contract with the Rangers to revamp his swing.

“I am grateful to have regained success. I think a big part of that was coming back to AAA and playing every day and having success again,” Carpenter said. “I put in constant hours and worked like crazy while I was here and I kept getting punched in the mouth every time I went out. Success did not come.

Carpenter returned to Busch Stadium with .322/.435/.791 with 1.226 OPS and 15 home runs.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Carpenter said. It’s a very good team, obviously a very good team, a very good clubhouse. I wouldn’t say I was surprised, but I said earlier that I think success certainly leaves its mark and the similarities between these two organizations are quite remarkable.

“Being in that clubhouse over there doesn’t feel much different to when I was here,” Carpenter continued. “In terms of how both teams are preparing. Both teams are determined to win. There are superstars in this clubhouse, and there are no egos, everyone is on the same page. Everyone shoots for each other and just commits to winning. So it was pretty cool to see that. When you’ve spent your entire career in one place, you just assume we’re unique and special and no one else can. And then we go somewhere else where there is also a very good thing. I think it’s pretty obvious that these two organizations have been so good for so long because they do a lot of similar things.

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