The Yankees struck out 14 times and allowed three home runs in Sunday afternoon's 8-4 loss to the Indians at Yankee Stadium. >> Box Score
Five takeaways from Sunday's game...
1) LHP CC Sabathia struggled in his first game back from the right knee inflammation, an ailment that kept him on the injured list since July 28. He went just three innings, allowing four hits and four runs -- a three-run home run in the second inning among them -- with five strikeouts to three walks. The last time Sabathia (5-7) got through the fifth inning -- he went six frames July 16 in the Yankees' 8-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays -- was his last win. The loss to the Indians extends the drought to Sabathia's past three starts, including defeats against the Minnesota Twins (8-6, July 22) and Boston Red Sox (9-5, July 27).
2) On the other side of the pitching duel, RHP Mike Clevinger kept the Yankees' bats contained. He yielded three hits in five innings, striking out 10 and walking two, on 104 pitches. His bounce-back start brought him to 8-2 overall, setting the tone for the Indians, who scattered nine hits while the Yankees left 15 runners on base.
3) While the Yankees were quiet at the plate until the bottom of the ninth inning, CF Brett Gardner led the charge early on, with a 2-for-4 showing in the box. His two doubles -- in the second and sixth innings, respectively -- went uncapitalized as the Yankees left him on base both times, however. Ultimately, though, Gardner bounced back after an 0-for-3 peformance with two strikeouts and a sixth-inning ejection in Saturday's 6-5 win over the Indians.
4) After an 0-for-3 start out of the leadoff spot, 1B DJ LeMahieu avoided a hitless afternoon and broke a scoreless game for the Yankees in the seventh inning when he cleared the short porch in right field for a two-run home run -- his 21st on the season. LeMahieu, who leads the Yankees with 86 runs batted in, ended with a 2-for-5 day, continuing to catalyze the offense at the top of the order with an RBI single in the ninth.
5) While RF Aaron Judge aims to work his way out of an ongoing slump with a 2-for-5 day on a single up the middle in the third and an RBI double in the ninth, he fell victim to two strikeouts. Three of the Yankees' nine batters in the lineup -- SS Didi Gregorious, C Gary Sanchez and 2B Gleyber Torres -- posted a hitless afternoon at the plate. With runners on second and third and one out after Judge's RBI double in the ninth, a strikeout from Gregorious brought the Yankees to their last out. They threatened to bring the game back within a run, but 3B Gio Urshela flew out to the warning track in left field and ended the game.
The Yankees take Monday off before they resume their slate Tuesday at Oakland, embarking on a three-game series against the Athletics (71-52, 0.5 GB in second Wild Card) with ace RHP Domingo German (16-2, 3.96 ERA) set to face RHP Homer Bailey (10-8, 5.22 ERA). First pitch is projected for 10:07 p.m. ET at the Oakland Coliseum.