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Apr 23, 2024 7:54 am

Scuffling Yankees offense seeks revival vs. A’s

Yankees, stanton

Even though the New York Yankees are off to a decent start with 15 wins in their first 23 games, their offense is showing some similarities to the version that experienced difficulties last season.

After being shut out for the fourth time so far, the Yankees will attempt to get their offense rolling again Tuesday night when they continue a four-game series with the visiting Oakland Athletics.

New York has been shut out three times at home so far, the latest a 2-0 defeat against the A’s on Monday. The Yankees matched a season low by getting held to three hits for the second time this season (also April 2 at Arizona).

“Just scuffling a little bit,” said manager Aaron Boone, who controversially was ejected two batters into the game by plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt. “We got to mount more than that obviously.

Singles by Anthony Volpe, Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Trevino accounted for New York’s offense in the series opener. The Yankees struck out 11 times and had only one at-bat with a runner in scoring position.

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge continued to struggle. After striking out four times in a 2-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday, then going 1-for-4 with two whiffs in a win on Sunday, Judge went 0-for-4 with two more strikeouts on Monday. His average dipped to .174, and his team-leading strikeout total rose to 31.

Oakland improved to a respectable 8-7 in its past 15 games after opening the season with seven losses in eight games. The A’s have eight wins this month — three more than last April, when they lost 23 of 28 games.

On Monday, the A’s ended an eight-game losing streak at Yankee Stadium when Zach Gelof hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning. Gelof’s third homer of the season occurred on a day when the A’s finished with just four hits, but it enabled Mason Miller to get the save by striking out Volpe, Juan Soto and Judge in the bottom of the inning.

Gelof homered in his second game as Oakland’s sixth-place hitter. He had primarily manned the second spot in the order this season.

“We both agreed it’d be good to get him out of the two-hole for a bit,” Oakland Mark Kotsay said. “We’re going to do this until I feel confident that he’s got his confidence back.”

After New York starter Carlos Rodon pitched seven shutout innings on Monday, Marcus Stroman (1-1, 2.42 ERA) will take the mound for the Yankees on Tuesday. Stroman, who has pitched into the sixth inning in three of four starts so far this year, last pitched on Wednesday in Toronto. In that outing, he allowed two runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings while getting a season-high 13 outs on the ground.

Stroman is 1-1 with a 3.61 ERA in seven career starts against Oakland.

Paul Blackburn (2-0, 1.08 ERA), who opened the season with 22 1/3 scoreless innings, will get the ball for Oakland. The right-hander allowed three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday and earned the victory as the A’s rallied for a 6-3 win.

Blackburn is 1-0 with a 2.35 ERA in three career starts vs. the Yankees.

–Field Level Media

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