Josh Jung hit a first-inning grand slam against Nestor Cortes, Nathaniel Lowe and Adolis García added home runs off the All-Star, and the Texas Rangers routed the Yankees 15-2 Sunday and sent slumping New York to its sixth loss in eight games.
Cortes (3-2) had the worst outing of his Yankees career, allowing seven runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings along with four of New York’s eight walks. His ERA climbed from 3.49 to 4.91, double his 2.88 last season when he became a first-time All-Star.
Fellow All-Star Martín Pérez (4-1) gave up one run and six hits in six innings for Texas, which has won three straight following a four-game losing streak. Jung tied his career high with five RBIs.
“Nestor is a really good pitcher and it felt like we kind of suffocated him there,” Jung said. “If we can do that day in and day out, that’s like October baseball stuff. So, truly one through nine, it was just a great day for us.”
New York allowed its most runs since a 19-5 defeat to Cleveland on Aug. 15, 2019. The Yankees are 15-14 following a 2-5 trip, tied for last in the AL East and eight games behind first-place Tampa Bay.
“Adversity is coming for us. We know it and we will get through it,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “The league waits for no one, and no one is going to feel sorry for us for what we’re going through. Even though we are beat up a little bit, we’re still capable of going out there and winning ballgames. That’s what we’ve got to find a way to do right now.”
Yankees captain Aaron Judge missed his third straight game with a mild hip strain, joining Giancarlo Stanton (left hamstring strain), Harrison Bader (left oblique strain) and third baseman Josh Donaldson (right hamstring strain) on the sidelines. New York has totaled eight runs during its last six losses.
Cortes issued consecutive one-out walks to Robbie Grossman and Lowe in the first, and García singled down the right-field line with Oswaldo Cabrera shifted to right-center. Jung hit an opposite-field drive over the right-field wall on a 2-2 slider for his first career slam. Cortes had not allowed a slam since Sept. 28, 2019, at the Rangers’ old ballpark.
“It was tough today to find the fastball,” Cortes said. “I thought the cutter worked really well, but when you don’t have your fastball and you can’t control both sides of the plate, it’s difficult to pitch.”
Lowe and García homered in a three-pitch span of the fifth. After Cortes retired Jung, Albert Abreu relieved and gave up a home run to his first batter, Jonah Heim.
Heim had three hits and three RBIs, and Grossman extended his hitting streak to 11 games. The 13-run win matched the Rangers’ second-largest ever over the Yankees, and it was their first four-game series win over New York since July 1995.
“We pitched well, we swung the bats well, good defense,” Texas manager Bruce Bochy said. “Just a great series for us.”
The game took 2 hours, 30 minutes, a day after Nathan Eovaldi pitched a three-hit shutout in 2 hours, 6 minutes, the fastest nine-inning Yankees game since a 2:04 game against Minnesota on June 18, 1996.