Yankees stay on road after getting swept to play Phillies

The New York Yankees are in the midst of their longest losing streak of the season.

It’s only three losses in a row for the Yankees, but they enter the week with an injured starting catcher and a meeting with a surging opponent.

The Philadelphia Phillies have won four consecutive series and will host the Yankees for a three-game set at Citizens Bank Park. Vince Velasquez of the Phillies will face rookie right-hander Jonathan Loaisiga of the Yankees in the series opener on Monday night.

New York was swept in a three-game weekend series on the road by the Tampa Bay Rays. It’s the first time in 2018 the Yankees have lost three consecutive games — something the team had not done since Aug. 28-30, 2017.

“As far as the losses, I look at it as a bump in the road,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone told MLB.com after a 7-6 loss in the series finale. “Unfortunately, it’s bound to happen in a long season. You’ve just got to turn the page.”

The Yankees lost more than a game on Sunday. Catcher Gary Sanchez hurt his right groin/hip while running to first base in the 10th inning. Sanchez is scheduled to get an MRI on Monday, and Boone told reporters that it’s likely the 25-year-old will be placed on the disabled list.

Sanchez, in his third major league season, is hitting .190 with a .724 OPS and 14 homers through 63 games this season.

Despite being swept, the Yankees (50-25) are still tied with the Boston Red Sox for the American League East lead.

The Phillies (41-34) have won nine of their last 13 games and moved within 2 1/2 games of the Atlanta Braves for the top spot in the National League East.

Velasquez (5-7, 4.82 ERA) will try to make it five straight wins for the Phillies on Monday night. The right-hander has pitched into the seventh inning in three of his last four starts, including his last outing.

Velasquez struck out eight and allowed four runs against the St. Louis Cardinals last Tuesday. He allowed just four hits in the start, but two of them were homers.

Velasquez has faced the Yankees twice in his career, and both appearances came during the 2015 season when he was with the Houston Astros. He has a 3.24 ERA and 0.840 WHIP in those games.

Loaisiga (1-0, 3.12 ERA) will make just the third start of his major league career.

The 23-year-old from Nicaragua was sharp in his debut, throwing five scoreless innings against the Rays on June 15. Loaisiga had a tougher time in his second start. Facing the Seattle Mariners last Wednesday, he allowed three runs and six hits and used 84 pitches to get through 3 2/3 innings.

The Yankees and Phillies are meeting for the first time since the 2015 season. Philadelphia took two of three at Yankee Stadium from June 22 to June 24 three years ago.