scheduled tribe. LOUIS – What started as an emotional homecoming ended as a devastating loss for the Yankees. Hours after Matt Carpenter returned to Busch Stadium with a standing ovation from 46,940 fans, Clay Holmes took a one-run lead in the eighth and the Cardinals won the first of three games 4–3. series between two iconic franchises.
The Yankees (70-37) have had three straight losses. This is only the fourth time this season that they have suffered a loss after taking an eighth-innings lead. They have lost three of their last five games and are 6-9 since coming out of the All-Star break and hold just a .5-game lead over the Astros for the best record in the American League.
Holmes dropped an infield single to Nolan Arenado, and then drove Tyler O’Neill with two outs. Paul DeJong pitches a sinker in right field to drive in two runs. It was the first time this season that Holmes allowed runs in back-to-back games for three against the Royals on Sunday. The blown lead was the fourth lead they had surrendered in their last 10 appearances on Friday. In his last nine appearances, Holmes, who had a 31-innings scoreless streak earlier this season, has allowed nine earned runs.
This spoiled another solid start from Nestor Cortés, who conceded two earned runs on a hit and four walks. He scored four runs in an innings of 5.1 pitch. It was his third start of five or more innings in which one run or less was allowed.
Aaron Judge and Josh Donaldson got two hits each. It was Judge’s 36th multi-hit game of the season, the most in the Majors. Andrew Benintendi, who was 1-for-23 as a Yankee, hit a two-out double in the eighth. It was his first hit to get off the field.
With the judge in first, Carpenter came to the plate for an extended standing ovation. Then he did what he often couldn’t do in the last two years he was here; He had a productive at-bat.
Carpenter singled him into the scoring position and the Yankees slugger scored a double on Donaldson’s right-field wall. In the third, Carpenter sang the song again.
The three-time All-Star and career .263/.369/.457 hitter, who hit 36 homers in 2018, left St. Louis less than .200 after two seasons and seven homers in 180 games. The Cardinals bought the option on his contract and Carpenter worked over the winter – at times with longtime teammate Matt Holiday – and then on a minor league contract with the Rangers to improve his swing.
“I am grateful that I have success again. I think a big part of it was going back to AAA and playing every day and finding success again,” Carpenter said. “I spent hours in a row. I worked and worked like crazy when I was here and every time I went there just kept punching me in the mouth. Not getting success.”
Carpenter hit .322/.435/.791 with 1.226 ops and 15 home runs at Busch Stadium.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” said Carpenter. It’s a really good team, obviously a really good team, a really good clubhouse. I won’t say I was surprised but I said earlier that I think success definitely leaves a footprint and the similarities between these two organizations are pretty remarkable.
“Being in that clubhouse, it doesn’t feel much different from when I was here,” Carpenter continued. “As far as the way both the teams prepare. Both teams are determined to win. There are some superstars in that clubhouse, and not everyone has any egos on the same page. Everyone is pulling for each other and is just committed to winning. So that’s been great to see. When you’ve spent your entire career in one place, you simply assume that we are unique and special and that no one else can. And then we go somewhere else, which is also a very good thing. I think it’s pretty clear that these two organizations have been so good for so long because they do so many similar things. ,