Yankees 5, Red Sox 2: Gio Urshela’s grand slam dooms Sox in another loss

It’s still early in the season, but it’s already becoming the same old story for the Red Sox. Their starter puts them behind, and the offense can’t catch up.

That was the case for the second consecutive night, as Zack Godley couldn’t build on his success and the Red Sox couldn’t find a spark in another mostly lifeless performance at Yankee Stadium, a 5-2 loss to the Yankees.

Here were the takeaways as the Red Sox fell to 3-6 and will look to avoid a sweep on Sunday night:

Zack Godley’s first start with the Red Sox was forgettable: The Red Sox are still searching for answers in the 3-5 spots of their starting rotation, and they certainly didn’t find any Saturday.

Godley had a terrific debut last Monday, throwing four scoreless and seven strikeouts in relief, but that was against the Mets. He took a huge step back against the Yankees and their powerful lineup, lasting 3⅓ innings and allowing five runs on six hits and two home runs, including a grand slam on a first-pitch changeup that was low to Gio Urshela in the second inning — after three consecutive singles to start the inning — which was ultimately the difference.

“I executed the pitch the way I thought was going to get a good result but it obviously did not go the way I wanted it to go,” Godley said. These guys came into this game prepared to hit off-speed and we didn’t make that adjustment early enough to go to the fastball and they took advantage.”

As bad as Godley’s line was, he thought his pitch execution was what he wanted it to be. Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke, likewise, thought his stuff was there.

“I don’t think he pitched as bad as what the score was,” Roenicke said. “Sometimes you make decent pitches, I’m not saying they were great pitches, but you make decent pitches and the other guys do a good job of hitting.”

Godley’s performance was the latest disappointing one from a starter. Through nine games, Red Sox starters have posted a 6.87 ERA and only one starter, Nathan Eovaldi on opening night, has pitched six innings.

Xander Bogaerts looks like he’s finding his groove again: A year after earning MVP votes in a career year in which he had 33 homers and 52 doubles, Bogaerts has looked like himself the last two nights at Yankee Stadium.

On top of his usual great defense, Bogaerts is finding a rhythm at the plate after a minor knock earlier in the week. The shortstop followed up a 2-for-4 night in Friday’s loss with a double in the third inning that came about one foot from clearing the wall in center, which scored the Red Sox’ only two runs. He also flew out on a well-hit, deep fly ball in his first at-bat, which was a good signl.

“He’s also seeing the ball well,” Roenicke said. “He’s taking pitches that are close, down. I know when guys struggle, they start chasing and swinging at those pitches, so I like the way he’s looking at the baseball. He’s hitting the ball the other way better. We know he can really pull the ball well. The ball he hit off the right-center wall, that was smoked, that was a great at-bat.”

The offense played from behind again: Chris Mazza looked like a keeper in his Red Sox debut, striking out three including D.J. LeMahieu and Aaron Judge in 2⅔ scoreless innings of relief. Ryan Brasier and Josh Osich then each threw a scoreless inning.

But after Bogaerts’ double in the third, the Red Sox looked lost offensively, collecting just two more hits. They only threatened again with two outs in the ninth, when they had two runners on and the game-tying run in Andrew Benintendi at the plate, but he struck out swinging.

The Red Sox offense again struggled playing from behind. They’re 1-5 this season when the opposition scores first, but Roenicke doesn’t see that being a long-term issue.

“If it’s all the time, yes, it puts pressure on your offense, no question,” Roenicke said. “Today was a little tougher but I think when you’re down two, three runs, I don’t think that’s a big deal with our offense. I think they should know they’re going to be able to come back and score that many.

“But you want to get a lead. Certainly when we go through a really good stretch, it’s always because we’re the ones that are coming out in the first inning or two and all of a sudden we’re up 5-0 and it changes the game.”

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