NEW YORK — The pieces were in place for the Yankees on Tuesday night.
Carlos Rodón returning from the 15-day injured list to make the start. No. 3 prospect Everson Pereira and former No. 2 prospect Oswald Peraza called up to provide a spark. And an opponent that was below the .500 mark by double digits.
Yet the Yankees were unable to pull themselves out of the rut, falling to the Nationals, 2-1, in the opener of a three-game series at Yankee Stadium. New York has dropped nine straight contests, marking the club’s longest losing streak since September 1982.
Rodón twirled six strong innings of one-run ball, with Carter Kieboom’s solo home run in the third the only damage against him. It was the longest outing of the southpaw’s pinstriped tenure, and he did it in just 68 pitches (41 strikes). It was also tied for the fewest runs he has allowed among his seven starts, matching his Subway Series debut on July 26, when he earned his only win.
But the Yankees’ bats remained cold, managing only one hit in six frames off Washington starter Josiah Gray. That came off the bat of catcher Ben Rortvedt, who answered Kieboom with a homer of his own in the bottom half of the inning. Even after Gray gave way to the bullpen, the Yanks tallied only one more hit. They didn’t score another run with it, though, allowing CJ Abrams’ eighth-inning solo shot to hold as the game-winner.