The New York Yankees can only hope that their Tuesday road game against the Houston Astros will mark the moment finally gain some traction after a bumpy opening to the season.
The offense has been fine, producing 52 runs over the first 10 games, but the bad news on the injury front just keeps coming with the latest revelation that right-hander Luis Severino had a setback in his attempted return from a shoulder injury.
Didi Gregorius, Troy Tulowitzki, CC Sabathia, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks and Dellin Betances are all on the mend, and yet the Yankees held on until the end Monday when the Astros tied the game with two runs in the seventh inning and one in the eighth for a 4-3 victory.
The Astros' game-winning run came on a Carlos Correa RBI infield single that traveled less than 30 feet. So much for that Yankees' three-game winning streak as New York fell to 5-5 on the season despite a plus-17 run differential, third best in the American League.
"That's one of those (where), what are you going to do?" manager Aaron Boone said after the game.
Rookie right-hander Jonathan Loaisiga (0-0, 2.25 ERA) will make his sixth career start for the Yankees on Tuesday in what will be his first career appearance against the Astros.
Loaisiga allowed one run on one hit and three walks with four strikeouts over four innings in his previous start, a 2-1 home loss to the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday. He has 37 strikeouts and 15 walks over 28 2/3 career innings.
Right-hander Gerrit Cole (0-2, 3.00 ERA) will seek his first win on the season while also aiming to help the Astros clinch the three-game series against the Yankees. Cole has posted 19 strikeouts over 12 innings in two starts this season and is allowing less than a hit per inning.
Cole has made one career start against the Yankees, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks with eight strikeouts over six innings while earning a 5-3 victory on May 18, 2014, while with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Astros stretched their winning streak to four games Monday, their seventh consecutive win at Minute Maid Park dating to last season. Houston accomplished that task by doing what it did in the finale against the Oakland A's on Sunday: rallying against a pair of exceptional relievers.
The Astros erased a two-run deficit against Athletics right-handers Lou Trivino and Blake Treinen. They did the same when faced with a 3-1 deficit as the Yankees first turned to left-hander Zack Britton and then right-hander Adam Ottavino.
After starting the season 2-5 while scoring two runs or fewer in five of those games, the Astros have momentum now. During their four-game winning streak, they have outscored their opponents 22-13.
"It's expected. We're good," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We have a good team. We have a good feel for the moment. I'm pretty confident that we show up to win every day.
"This shouldn't surprise anybody."
--Field Level Media
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