Clay Holmes’ blown save continues troublesome trend for normally reliable closer

Throw Clay Holmes atop the mounting heap of Yankees concerns. 

In a stretch in which everything is going wrong, the Yankees closer reminded that he, too, has been part of the problem, blowing a save in an eventual 5-3, 10-inning, series-opening loss to the Red Sox in The Bronx on Friday. 

Holmes was a strike away but could not find the third out in an inning that wouldn’t end. 

Clay Homes’ ninth inning became a complete disaster. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

The righty entered the game with a two-run edge and was successful, but not immediately, in retiring the first two batters of the ninth.

Rafael Devers tapped out but on the 10th pitch of his at-bat, fouling four off before going down. It took five pitches to get a ground out from Connor Wong. 

After former Met Dominic Smith found a hole up the middle with the fourth pitch of his at-bat, the Red Sox had life and Holmes had a tiring arm. 

“They made him work even when he was retiring hitters,” manager Aaron Boone said, “and spoiling, spoiling, spoiling.” 

Holmes got ahead, 0-2, on Masataka Yoshida before delivering three straight balls.

Yoshida hung in the at-bat, fouling two off, before the eighth pitch he saw — and the 27th delivered by Holmes — was a sinker that ran across the middle of the plate. 

Clay Holmes allowed a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth. Robert Sabo for NY Post

Yoshida blasted it 405 feet to right for a stunning, two-run shot that deflated Yankee Stadium. 

“I felt like the pitches were there and I was executing,” said Holmes, who blew his fifth save of the year. “They did a good job of just fouling pitches off — pitches I thought were pretty good pitches. 

“It started to add up. And obviously the sinker down and in to Yoshida, he probably saw one too many there.” 

Holmes has not had many opportunities to close the door on games over a poor stretch from the rest of the club, but he has not stepped up, either.

The typically reliable back-end arm has allowed nine runs (eight earned) in his past 6 ²/₃ innings, raising his ERA from 1.23 to 3.00 in eight games. 

Masataka Yoshida celebrates his game-tying homer. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Even when the Yankees’ bullpen has come through this season, there have been questions about whether the unit contains enough high-octane pitchers who can miss bats. 

Holmes’ stuff, while potent, generally leads to soft contact and not strikeouts. He couldn’t put Boston hitters away. 

“It hurt us tonight,” Boone said

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