Major League Baseball

D-backs return to Bronx for first time since ’13

7:05 p.m. ET; YES, FS-A, MLB.TV

One horrendous week of starting-pitching performances has fans clamoring for the New York Yankees to add a starting pitcher by Wednesday’s trade deadline.

The struggles on the mound did not significantly impact New York’s lead in the American League East.

The Yankees hope to increase their lead Tuesday night when they host the Arizona Diamondbacks in the opener of a two-game interleague series at Yankee Stadium.

New York is 3-5 in its past eight games, and its lead went from 10 games to 8 1/2. The Yankees’ rotation posted a 16.62 ERA in a span of seven games before Domingo German allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings on Sunday in a 9-6 win at Boston.

“It definitely felt good to get this one,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone, whose team lost the first three games of the four-game series against the Red Sox. “It’s been a difficult weekend for us, you know. And it was difficult even finishing it off. They kept grinding and making it tough on us. But we made enough plays in the end.”

German’s outing Sunday was New York’s longest start since Masahiro Tanaka pitched six innings in an 11-5 win over Colorado on July 20. Adding to the rotation woes, CC Sabathia landed on the injured list Sunday due to right knee inflammation.

The Yankees head into the Arizona series with a 4.77 ERA from their starting pitchers, which that represents the highest total among any division leader.

The deadline is at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, when the Yankees could be in the late innings or shortly after concluding the series with Arizona.

One name already off the board is Marcus Stroman, who was traded to the New York Mets. Another who could be unavailable is Madison Bumgarner due to the San Francisco Giants’ surge into the National League wild-card race.

In the meantime, the Yankees will hope to start a good turn through its rotation, beginning with J.A. Happ (8-5, 5.23 ERA) on Tuesday.

Happ was New York’s big trade deadline acquisition last season, and despite possessing the second-most wins on the team, his ERA is the highest among New York’s starting pitchers.

Happ last pitched Wednesday in New York’s 10-7 win at Minnesota, allowing six runs in 3 1/3 innings. It was the fourth time he allowed at least six runs this season.

The veteran left-hander is 3-1 with a 2.03 ERA in six career appearances (five starts) against Arizona.

The Diamondbacks are making their first appearance in Yankee Stadium since 2013, when current New York shortstop Didi Gregorius hit his first career homer against the Yankees.

This year, Arizona won two close games over the Yankees in Phoenix on April 30 and May 1, but the Diamondbacks (53-54) are back under .500 after an 11-6 loss at Miami on Monday.

The Diamondbacks have lost seven of their past 11 games since a 19-4 win in Texas on July 19. Even though they are only four games out of the NL’s second wild-card spot, it is possible they could sell off pieces before the deadline. That could include Robbie Ray, who is not scheduled to pitch in this series.

“Sitting here three weeks ago, I think a large percentage of us would have preferred a different outcome in terms of where we’re standing today,” Arizona GM Mike Hazen told reporters.

Arizona rookie Taylor Clarke (3-3, 6.10 ERA) will make his 12th career start Tuesday and his second in a row against an American League team. He last pitched Wednesday in a 5-2 win over Baltimore, giving up two runs in six innings. Clarke has never faced the Yankees.

–Field Level Media

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