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Apr 3, 2024 8:31 am

Yankees look for bounce-back effort in series finale vs. D-backs

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees finally lost a game, and the effort definitely wasn’t one for the memory books.

The Yankees will aim to get back to winning on Wednesday afternoon when they look to claim the finale of a three-game series from the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix.

New York opened the season with five straight victories for the first time since 1992, but there wasn’t much good about Tuesday night’s 7-0 loss to Arizona.

The Yankees fell behind quickly by allowing three runs in the first inning, had just one runner reach second base (Andrew Volpe in the second inning), and were out-hit 12-3.

And Diamondbacks starter Zac Gallen controlled the New York offense during his six strong innings.

Overall for the Yankees, Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton and Alex Verdugo were a combined 0-for-13 in the No. 3 through 6 spots in the order on Tuesday. Their averages through six games stack up this way — Judge (.125), Rizzo (.182), Stanton (.150) and Verdugo (.143).

“Credit to them,” Rizzo said. “They’re a good team, and (Gallen) is a good pitcher.”

New York’s Gleyber Torres, who is batting .174, had similar thoughts.

“Offensively, we didn’t do anything,” he said. “It’s tough love, but we have to play (Wednesday).”

Arizona has won four of its first six games in a solid start as it defends its National League crown from last season.

Slugger Christian Walker broke Tuesday’s game open with a three-run homer in the seventh. It was his third homer of the season.

Walker said the Diamondbacks have a greater air of confidence than they had last season.

“We surprised a lot of people around the nation last year, but we didn’t surprise anybody inside this clubhouse,” Walker said.

The Yankees won Monday’s series opener 5-2, but Tuesday belonged to the Diamondbacks.

“It was a clean game,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “Those are the types of game I expect us to play, but it was all set up by Zac. He was just pounding the zone, in command of more than one pitch and could get to anything at any time.”

Struggling star Corbin Carroll is expected back in the Diamondbacks’ lineup on Wednesday. The 2023 National League Rookie of the Year is batting .176 with no extra-base hits through five games.

Arizona right-hander Merrill Kelly (1-0, 1.35 ERA) and Yankees left-hander Carlos Rodon (0-0, 2.08) will match up in the finale.

Kelly gave up one run and three hits over 6 2/3 innings while beating the Colorado Rockies last Friday in his first outing of the season. He struck out eight and walked none.

Kelly, 35, is 1-0 with a 2.61 ERA in two career starts against the Yankees. He received a no-decision at New York last season when he gave up two runs and four hits over five innings on Sept. 25.

Juan Soto, a former National Leaguer, is 4-for-13 against Kelly. Rizzo is just 1-for-8.

Rodon gave up one run and five hits over 4 1/3 innings against the Houston Astros last Friday. He struck out four and walked three.

The 31-year-old Rodon is in the second season of a six-year, $162 million deal with New York. He was just 3-8 with a horrific 6.85 ERA in 14 starts last year after missing the first half of the season due to left forearm and back injuries.

Rodon lost to the Diamondbacks last Sept. 24 when he gave up five runs (three earned) and six hits over 6 1/3 innings.

Rodon is 0-3 with a 5.53 ERA in five career starts against Arizona. He has shut down Ketel Marte (1-for-15), while Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (3-for-9) and Walker (3-for-11, one homer) have fared well against him.

–Field Level Media

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