NEW YORK -- Andy Pettitte felt good but pitched poorly.
Pettitte gave up five runs on nine hits in 6⅔ innings and the Yankees lost to the Rays 8-3 on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium.
“It’s just disappointing,” Pettitte said. “I need to be better. I need to shut these guys down and give us a chance to score first one time instead of always being in a hole, and I just feel like I’m putting us in a hole every time out right now.”
Since winning his first three starts of the season, Pettitte, who went on the disabled list due to a strained trapezius muscle in his upper back, is 2-5 with a 5.13 ERA.
“He just got some balls in the middle of the plate, and they didn’t miss them,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He didn’t make a ton of mistakes, but the ones he made, they capitalized on them, and when he got the ball in the middle of the plate, they hit it.”
“Joe gave me a chance to get out of that inning with Rodriguez up, and I couldn’t get him out,” Pettitte said. “It’s just disappointing because we’re battling.”
Pettitte is winless in five starts at Yankee Stadium (0-3, 7.46 ERA). He said he needs to get back to throwing more bullpens in between starts and wants to pitch every five days; his injury recovery and off days have not allowed for that to occur.
Still, Pettitte admitted, those are just excuses. The bottom line is he’s not getting it done.
“He’s a veteran. He’ll get on a roll for us, too,” Girardi said.
• Boone Logan was struck in the left hand fielding a comebacker for the final out of the eighth.
“My guess is he’ll be OK, but we’ll see tomorrow,” Girardi said.
• Lyle Overbay committed a foolish baserunning mistake after doubling in the seventh -- running on a ground ball hit in front of him -- and was thrown out at third.
“It’s just a bad read. That’s all it is,” Girardi said.
• Zolio Almonte picked up his first MLB hit in the ninth. According to ESPN Stats & Info, he’s the second player in history named Zolio to get a hit. Zolio Versalles had 1,246 career hits for five teams.
• The Yankees are hitting a paltry .238 as a team with a .301 on-base percentage. They went 15 consecutive innings without scoring before plating three runs in the sixth.
• Brett Gardner (2-for-3) has hit safely in 22 of his past 26 games since May 24.
• Vernon Wells went 0-for-3, and his average dipped to .221.