- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
WHAT IT MEANS: The Yankees' ninth-inning rally fell one hit short on Saturday afternoon.
After RBI singles from Nick Swisher and Jayson Nix pulled the Yanks within one run of the Reds, Derek Jeter grounded into a force-out and Curtis Granderson followed with a weak roller to first base to close out New York's 6-5 loss.
THE BAD: Ivan Nova had an up-and-down outing on Saturday. His injured right ankle seemed fine. But his slider hurt him.
Nova had a career-high 12 strikeouts against the Reds, but gave up seven hits and five runs in six innings, including a three-run homer from Joey Votto.
Votto smoked a slider into the right-center field seats to give the Reds a 5-2 lead in the fifth.
DAVID? D'OH: What started out as a nice play by David Phelps ended in disaster for the Yankees.
The first two batters Phelps faced in the eighth reached base. Todd Frazier then attempted to lay down a sacrifice to get the runners over. But Phelps caught it on a fly and then tried to throw out Jay Bruce at first base.
Phelps' throw sailed wide, allowing Brandon Phillips to advance from second to third. Phillips scored on Mike Costanzo's sacrifice fly to give the Reds a 6-3 lead.
Flame-thrower Aroldis Chapman came in for the eighth inning and blew away the Yankees, striking out Robinson Cano and Granderson and getting Alex Rodriguez to pop out meekly to shallow left-center.
A-ROD'S POWER OUTAGE: Rodriguez went 0-for-4. He now has just one home run in his last 84 at-bats.
THE GOOD: Russell Martin homered in the third inning (his fourth of the year) and Nix hit one in the fifth inning, his second of the season.
GOOD RISP DAY: The Yankees went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position on Saturday -- with both hits coming in the ninth inning. They have just five hits in their last 55 at-bats in such situations.
Some of New York's biggest run producers -- A-Rod, Mark Teixeira, Cano and Granderson -- are all hitting under .230 with runners in scoring position.
WHAT'S NEXT: CC Sabathia takes on the Reds in the finale of this three-game set. Sabathia is 4-1 with a 2.33 ERA against the Reds. He's also 21-7 in day games as a Yankee.