Frankie Montas, Reds sweep Yankees as Bombers fail to win 6th straight series

NEW YORK — This Fourth of July, the Yankees lost to the Reds.

With an 8-4 win, Cincinnati — not the British — swept the Bombers at Yankee Stadium on Thursday afternoon. According to the YES Network’s James Smyth, the Reds became the first National League team to sweep the Yankees in the Bronx over three-or-more games.

Ex-Yankee Frankie Montas delivered a turncoat performance, as the righty held his former team to two runs while tallying four hits, three walks and four strikeouts over five innings and 94 pitches. Both of those runs came via longballs, as lefty-swingers Austin Wells and Ben Rice pulled solo home runs in the fifth inning with the Yankees already down.

For Wells, it was his fourth homer of the season. Rice, meanwhile, crushed the first dinger of his major league career after replacing the flailing Anthony Volpe as the Yankees’ leadoff man.

Juan Soto added his 21 st home run of the season in the seventh inning. The two-run shot, which came against Fordham product Nick Martinez, landed 431 feet away and just to left of Monument Park.

While the Reds allowed a few bombs to an inconsistent lineup, home runs were more of a detriment to Marcus Stroman.

The Yankees’ right-hander served up three jacks, as Nick Martini, Jonathan India and Spencer Steer each went deep. Martini and India recorded solo shots in the second and third innings, respectively, while Steer put three on the board with a blast in the fifth frame.

Stroman totaled five innings, five hits, five earned runs, two walks, six strikeouts and 99 pitches as his ERA rose from 3.29 to 3.58.

The Reds scored again in the seventh inning when Jake Fraley smoked a three-run triple off of Jake Cousins to make it 8-2. Tim Hill was charged with two of those runs as the Yankees’ concerning bullpen failed to keep things close.

With another loss in the books, the second-place Yankees are now 54-35. They have failed to win six straight series and seven of their last eight. The team split four games with Toronto last week.

The Yankees will look to snap that stretch and their latest losing steak with the Red Sox in town this weekend. Boston took two of three from the Yankees at Fenway Park in mid-June.

Nestor Cortes, Gerrit Cole and the struggling Luis Gil will start for the Yankees. Tanner Houck, working on an All-Star bid, Josh Winckowski and Kutter Crawford will take the ball for the Sox.