Pettitte pitches poorly again in Bronx

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.”

The Yankees got within 4-3 of the Rays in the sixth, but Pettitte gave up back-to-back two-out doubles to Desmond Jennings and Sean Rodriguez in the seventh and was lifted as a result.

“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.