Yankees embarrassed by Tigers in miserable sweep
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DETROIT — The Motown Massacre.
The Yankees ended an embarrassing weekend in Detroit with an even more embarrassing loss on Sunday, as they were swept out of Comerica Park with a 6-2 loss to the Tigers.
It was their fifth loss in six games and featured a vast array of ugly performances.
And after getting overmatched by the Tigers — who entered the series in last place in the AL Central — the Yankees return to The Bronx to face the top two teams in the AL East — the Rays and Red Sox — this week.
If they play anything like they have the last three days, it will be a long week at Yankee Stadium.
On Sunday, they used a trio of pitchers, Michael King, Nestor Cortes Jr. and Nick Nelson, who hardly gave them a chance, and the players in the lineup went out and played like they were in a fog.
None of it was worse than the bottom of the third, when the Yankees committed three errors and the Tigers scored four runs on one hit.
Gleyber Torres made the two most glaring miscues, waving at a grounder to his right off the bat of Victor Reyes and then booting a routine ground ball by Jeimer Candelario.
Torres then did his best impression of Yankee fans who had the misfortune of tuning into the game, as he slammed his glove repeatedly in the dugout.
The Tigers blew the game open in that third inning thanks to a pair of walks and a tough error on Gio Urshela, who had a shard of a broken bat flying in his direction when he failed to handle an Eric Haase grounder.
One run scored on Torres’ first miscue before Willi Castro’s bases-loaded double to left drove in three runs.
It was a miserable afternoon from the start for the Yankees.
They threatened in the top of the first against left-hander Tarik Skubal, with a bloop single by DJ LeMahieu and a walk by Giancarlo Stantonto to start the game. But Aaron Judge hit a hard grounder to third that was turned into a double play. With LeMahieu on third, Urshela lined out to short.
Things got worse in the bottom of the inning.
King, in his first start of the season, was burned by the shift when Niko Goodrum hit a grounder to the left side of the infield that caused Urshela to race to and make an off-balance throw to first as Goodrum reached on an infield single. Urshela made a terrific catch of a foul pop for the first out before King hit Miguel Cabrera with a pitch that appeared to barely graze the DH.
After a strikeout of Jonathan Schoop for the second out, King allowed a double past third base. Clint Frazier played the carom off the wall in left and then airmailed a throw home. Cabrera ran through a stop sign and scored easily to make it 2-0.
Skubal, who entered the game with a 5.23 ERA — but pitched well his previous two outings — shut down the Yankees over six scoreless innings.
Torres got the Yankees’ first hit with a runner in scoring position in the series with a garbage-time single in the eighth that snapped the team’s 0-for-20 streak for the series.
That just led to more hijinks, as Sanchez followed with an infield single to short to knock in a run, but when the ball got away from Schoop at first, Sanchez inexplicably got caught between first and second and was thrown out to end the inning with the Yankees down by four runs.
In the ninth, the Yankees loaded the bases with two outs for Judge and Michael Fulmer got Judge looking to finish the game.
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