Sabathia did not extend that streak, but his inability to complete five innings added to the growing strain on the Yankees’ talented bullpen. The rotation’s E.R.A. over the past week, during which the Yankees went 2-5, was a horrid 16.62, raising its season total to 4.77.
The Yankees did face two of the best offenses in baseball during that stretch: the Red Sox and the power-hitting Minnesota Twins. But Saturday was the seventh straight game a Yankees starting pitcher could not complete five innings. The last time one did was July 20, when Masahiro Tanaka allowed five runs in six innings. Against the Red Sox on Thursday, Tanaka had the worst start of his career, allowing 12 runs.
The pitching coach Larry Rothschild and Boone said they would continue to turn over every stone to figure out what had plagued each starting pitcher.
“It’s been really tough,” Rothschild said. “It’s been tough on them, tough on the team. But it’s my responsibility to get it right.”
During the first few innings on Saturday, the Yankees kept the game close. Third baseman Gio Urshela, who homered earlier in the game off Eduardo Rodriguez, the Red Sox’ starter, gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead with a fourth-inning single.
That was erased in the bottom of the inning when J. D. Martinez slammed a go-ahead two-run blast off Sabathia to commence the Red Sox’ slugging onslaught. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts’s run-scoring double in the fifth inning gave the Red Sox a 5-3 lead and chased Sabathia from the game. They piled three runs on Green in the sixth inning.
Perhaps the Yankees felt the absence of perhaps their most valuable player this season, infielder D. J. LeMahieu. A magnetic resonance imaging test on Saturday revealed a low-grade groin strain, which he sustained during Friday’s game, Boone said.
LeMahieu said he felt better on Saturday, and he and Boone said they hoped he could avoid the injured list. The Yankees have had 23 players on the injured list this season. They surely did not want LeMahieu joining their catalog of concerns, most of which revolved around their sputtering pitching staff.