Gary Sanchez continued to build up his stats on Wednesday — and not in a positive way.
The catcher made his fourth throwing error in five games when he threw another ball into center on a stolen-base attempt. And not surprisingly, the runner once again came around to score in a 2-1 loss to the Tigers to close out a miserable homestand for Sanchez and the rest of the Yankees.
The latest error came in the top of the fourth with the Yankees clinging to a one-run lead. As Miguel Cabrera struck out for the first out of the inning against Jonathan Loaisiga, Sanchez picked the ball out of the dirt and fired to second base.
But he threw it wide of the bag and Tyler Wade couldn’t stop it.
Still, Yankees manager Aaron Boone continued to express confidence in his catcher.
“I don’t worry about him with the throwing because I know he has a lot of confidence in [it] and for good reason,’’ Boone said. “I think today was probably a case of trying to do something a little too much. A strikeout on a ball in the dirt and part of the reason he throws it is because he’s got so much confidence. But that’s probably a play where he’s got to eat it.”
And it left with him with two more errors than any other catcher in the majors.
After reaching base five times in the first two games of the season, Luke Voit is 1-for-14 with five strikeouts after going hitless on Wednesday.
“He’s one of the guys that’s good at not going out of the zone and he needs to get back to that,’’ Boone said of Voit, who was hit on the left hand on Tuesday and “pissed off” about the reaction of Detroit reliever Joe Jimenez after he doubled Voit off first on a line drive.
“I didn’t do it with any intention,” Jimenez told The Poston Wednesday before the game. “It’s just part of the game. I thought I made a good play. I just enjoyed the play, that’s it.”
Voit appeared to shout some expletives at Jimenez on the way off the field, as caught by the YES Network camera, but Jimenez said he did not hear anything.
“I don’t really look at that stuff. I don’t really care,” Jimenez said.
CC Sabathia is expected to make one more start in extended spring training before he could return to the rotation during the Yankees’ next homestand, according to Boone.
Sabathia was reinstated from the suspended list prior to Wednesday’s game after serving a five-game ban for throwing at Jesus Sucre in a game against Tampa Bay last September. He is recovering from offseason knee surgery that was interrupted by a heart scare in December.
While Sabathia will likely be back in The Bronx soon, iIt will take longer for Luis Severino, who is also in Tampa, recovering from the rotator cuff inflammation that sidelined him this spring.
Boone said Severino could begin throwing off a mound “in the next few days.’’ For now, the right-hander is just long-tossing.
DJ LeMahieu was in the leadoff spot on Wednesday, with Brett Gardner not in the starting lineup against lefty Matthew Boyd. Boone said LeMahieu could see more time at the top of the lineup versus southpaws, especially with the injuries the Yankees are currently dealing with.
“Certainly right now, with where we’re at roster-wise, I envision him leading off quite a bit,’’ Boone said. “He’s off to a good start. He gets us really good at-bats, especially against left-handed pitching. Throughout his career, he’s handled them really well. The way we’re set up now, he’s the perfect guy to lead off.’’
Austin Romine didn’t like the results on Tuesday night, but insisted that Aroldis Chapman’s stuff was good despite the lefty giving up a pair of runs in the ninth inning of the Yankees loss against Detroit.
“Actually, his stuff was good,’’ Romine said before the Yankees hosted the Tigers again Wednesday. “The velocity was there. I mean, he hit 99 [mph]. It just wasn’t our turn and we got beat.”
There have been concerns about Chapman pitching at 95-97 mph instead of his customary 100-102.
Romine, though, believes Chapman’s stuff is good enough to continue to be an excellent closer and that his velocity will return.
“The ball came out well [Tuesday] and he got something behind it,’’ Romine said. “It was good to see. I caught him a couple of times in the spring and that was the best I’d seen him so far.”
That didn’t stop the closer from walking pinch-hitter Niko Goodrum before Dustin Pederson hit a go-ahead RBI double on the first pitch of the at-bat.
“He just ambushed a pitch,’’ Romine said. “The guy was ready for it and took a good swing.”
Chapman didn’t use the chilly April weather as an excuse, but Romine believes the lefty will be more effective once it gets warmer — regardless of how hard he’s throwing.
“I think everybody feels better as the season moves along for the most part,’’ Romine said. “I’m looking more him executing pitches. Having juice behind it is always good because it allows for more error. But you’re still looking for quality pitches.’’
Since Gardner didn’t start, Boone put Mike Tauchman in center field and Clint Frazier in left on Wednesday.
Tauchman struggled in left on Tuesday, taking a bad route to one ball and overthrowing a cutoff man on another, but Boone praised his defense again before Wednesday’s game.
“I feel like this is why he’s here, to bounce around [the outfield],’’ Boone said. “This is the first time he and Clint will get together out there, but that’s their job.”
— Additional reporting by Greg Joyce