BOSTON — Michael King hasn’t provided his customary lights-out relief work in recent outings, and his rare slump contributed to the Yankees’ Game 1 loss Sunday against the Red Sox.
King was scored upon for the third time in his past four appearances, allowing three runs in the sixth inning of the Yankees’ 6-2 defeat in the first game of a day-night doubleheader at Fenway Park.
The Yankees lost Game 2, 4-1.
“I just didn’t really adjust to their approach. A lot of them were just trying to pull me. I kept throwing fastballs up and sliders that weren’t getting away, and it hurt me,” King said. “I’m just frustrated with the lack of awareness that I couldn’t change my approach to their approach faster than I did.”
After missing the second half of last season with an elbow injury, King had reestablished himself as a key component in the Yankees’ bullpen this season, posting a 1.65 ERA over his first 19 relief appearances through June 3.
But the 28-year-old righty now has been tagged for six earned runs over 5 ²/₃ innings in his last four games.
King recorded the final out of the fifth inning after the Red Sox scored twice off Yankees starter Clarke Schmidt for a 2-2 game.
King also retired the first two batters in the sixth, before Kiké Hernandez reached on an infield single.
Connor Wong and Alex Verdugo connected for consecutive doubles off the Green Monster and Justin Turner added an RBI single for a 5-2 Boston lead.
“Obviously, the Hernandez infield single was a killer,” Aaron Boone said. “And then Wong got him, Wong looked like he hit a decent pitch, stuck it off the wall and then we got hurt a little bit.
“Sometimes we see it in our place, where we stick one in the first row in right [field]. We’ve had a handful of balls these first two games that they’ve clipped right off that wall. Verdugo got him in that way. Just maybe a little sharpness lost there after that, but Wong got him, and it looked like probably a mistake. That was the big hit of the inning that gave them the lead.”
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