Yankees drop series finale to Rockies after blowing lead in extras

DENVER — Gerrit Cole made Yankees history on Sunday, but the Rockies spoiled the afternoon and the Bombers’ shot at starting the second half with a series win with several homers.

C.J. Cron’s grand slam in the eighth came off Clay Holmes, who inherited a mess from Tommy Kahnle. The blow helped the basement-dwelling Rockies secure an 8-7 win over the Yankees, who are now at the bottom of the American League East again.

The Yankees tied things up in the ninth thanks to a Ryan McMahon throwing error and a Harrison Bader sac fly, but Oswald Peraza got thrown out trying to take third on the latter play, which ended the Yankees’ rally. The 10th inning featured more bad base running from the Yankees, as Bader, the automatic runner on second base, got thrown out at third following a chopper to the mound.

A few RBI singles from Oswaldo Cabrera and Peraza helped the Yankees retake the lead in the 11th, but Nolan Jones then blasted a two-run homer off Nick Ramirez. The Rockies then walked it off in the same inning when Alan Trejo launched a solo shot off Ron Marinaccio (4-5).

Well before that, Cole — pitching for the first time since starting the All-Star Game on July 11 — struck out 11 Rockies. In doing so, he logged his 24th double-digit strikeout game with the Yankees, surpassing Ron Guidry for first place on the franchise’s all-time list.

Cole has recorded three such games in his fourth season with the Yankees.

Cole only permitted two hits and one earned run — a first inning homer to Michael Toglia — and one walk over 102 pitches while icing the Rockies. When he left the mound for the final time after the sixth inning, he received a loud ovation from the Coors Field crowd, which featured its fair share of Yankees fans during the series.

The Yankees’ offense gave those fans less to cheer about on Sunday, as Rockies starter Chase Anderson blanked the team for five innings despite waking up with a 6.89 ERA. The Yankees only managed three hits off the journeyman righty, but their fortunes changed once Anderson departed.

The Bombers scored their first run in the sixth when Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled to center off Jake Bird. An initial throwing error by McMahon gave the Yankees a second run on the play.

Kiner-Falefa, meanwhile, scored when Anthony Volpe softly grounded out to shortstop Ezequiel Tovar. Tovar, playing in, motioned a throw to the plate as Kiner-Falefa broke on contact, but he bobbled the ball and had to settle for the out at first.

With Sunday’s defeat, the Yankees failed to win a series against a Rockies team with a staff ERA as elevated as the city of Denver. Now they will turn their attention toward Shohei Ohtani and the Angels.

The Yankees begin a three-game series in Anaheim on Monday. The struggling Luis Severino, who owns a 7.38 ERA this season, will start the opener for New York, while Domingo Germán and Carlos Rodón will pitch the second and third games.

Griffin Canning will start the first game for the Angels, while Patrick Sandoval will start the second game. The Angels had yet to announce their Wednesday starter at the time of publication.


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