Yankees get swept by lowly Tigers after third-inning defensive mishaps

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DETROIT — The frustration just spilled out. Gleyber Torres didn’t need anyone to speak to him. He knew he screwed up, twice. The shortstop’s two errors in a three-error inning on Sunday was far from the biggest issue the Yankees had this weekend, but he seemed to be acting collectively for the Yankees and their fans when he went back to the dugout and dramatically pummeled his glove.

“This is just a bad ending to a terrible weekend,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after his team lost to the Tigers 6-2 at Comerica Park.

The Tigers (22-31) swept the three-game series, the second time this year the Bombers have been swept. The Yankees (29-24) have lost five of their last six games and head home to face the AL East division-leading Rays (34-20), followed by the Red Sox (32-30), playing some of their worst baseball.

“What we’ve been putting out there right now is not our best and it’s unacceptable,” said Aaron Judge, who struck out with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth inning.

It was perhaps the perfect ending for the Yankees offense here over the last three games. They scored just five runs and went 2-for-25 with runners in scoring position.

“That’s where we just got to dig down deeper, make some changes ….you just can’t keep coming to the plate, trying to do the same thing, expecting different results,” said Judge, who went 3-for-13 over the weekend. “So I think it’s just about us collectively just doing our homework and coming out of here ... we got some big series coming up, and especially having the Rays and the Red Sox coming into town. So two big series for us in our division. So it’s just about us doing our homework to prepare, forget about the series, and learn from it.”

The Yankees’ streaky offense has struggled for the last 11 games, averaging less than three runs a game. Defensively, however, they had been solid for a few weeks after a sloppy start. That is doubly true for Torres, who had tightened up his defense for the past few weeks, until Sunday when he botched two routine plays.

Torres’ first error came as he tried to casually backhand Victor Reyes’ ball, allowing one run to score. After a walk, a two-run double and a strikeout, Torres just bobbled Jeimer Candelario’s ball right to short to keep the inning alive.

“I mean, (those) are routine plays and I make two mistakes, but I am really working hard and when I make mistakes it is a little bit of frustration for me,” Torres said.

Torres’ errors, his seventh and eighth of the year, came on the heels of a rare Gio Urshela mistake. The third baseman was charged with a fielding error on Eric Haase’s broken bat ground ball.

“I feel like we put a lot of these mistakes, you know, especially defensively behind us. So defensively speaking, this has been an outlier,” Boone said. “Some of the base running mishaps that still continue to happen a little bit too much. We’ve got to get better. And all we can do is address them and try to educate as best we can. But that part of the game needs to be cleaned up.”

Running the bases has been a consistent problem for the Yankees, who lead the majors on outs on bases. In the eighth, with two outs, Gary Sanchez singled in a run on a ground ball to Tigers shortstop Zack Short, whose throw to first was wide. The lumbering catcher tried to make a wide turn at first and got caught running awkwardly between second and first when the ball ricocheted back to the first baseman. That was the Yankees’ 26th out on the bases this season and it killed their eighth-inning rally.

“I tried to be aggressive there on that play. It ended up being not a good decision,” Sanchez said through Yankees interpreter Marlon Abreu. “It’s something that happens and you gotta understand it. When you face it again, make a better decision and (turn) the page and look forward to tomorrow.”

This weekend, exposing the Yankees weaknesses, has not rattled Boone, though.

“It’s absolutely good enough,” Boone said of his roster. “We had a bad weekend. As pissed off as I am and as we should be by the way we played, it’s a bad weekend. We need to turn the page, we have an important homestand coming up against some really good opponents.”