New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi expressed his confidence in right-handed reliever Dellin Betances despite allowing a home run in his third consecutive outing, including the eventual game-winning runs in Sunday's 8-7 loss to the Boston Red Sox.
Girardi pulled Ivan Nova and brought Betances into a tie game in the bottom of the seventh inning with a runner on first base to face Christian Vazquez, Boston's No. 8 hitter, with a runner on first. Vazquez smashed Betances' first pitch over the Green Monster to break a 6-6 tie and give the Red Sox an 8-6 lead.
"I could have," Girardi told Newsday's Anthony Rieber about the possibility of sticking with Nova. "But, I mean, it's Dellin Betances."
The Yankees led 6-4 in the fifth inning, but instead lost their fifth straight game to fall to 8-15 and six games back in the AL East. Betances took the blame for the loss.
"I'll take the loss,'' he said. "I feel like it was my fault."
Last season, Betances had given up just six home runs all season long, including none between Opening Day and July 3. He allowed home runs in back-to-back outings before surrendering one over his next 23 outings.
Betances took the loss in Friday's 4-2 game when he allowed a go-ahead two-run home run to David Ortiz in the eighth inning. Including a solo home run to Texas' Brett Nicholas in Monday's 3-1 win over the Rangers, Betances has a 13.50 ERA over his last three appearances, allowing a home run in each.
"Dellin's probably the least of my worries," Girardi said of Betances, who had a 0.00 ERA before last Monday and hadn't allowed a run in his previous eight appearances. "Dellin's too good not to get back on track."