DETROIT (AP) -Mike Mussina gave up six runs in just three innings Monday night in the New York Yankees 16-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers, sinking even lower in one of the worst stretches of his career.
Before the series finale, Yankees manager Joe Torre said Mussina wasn't pitching to save his place in the rotation. But on Friday, Torre did say all options would be considered in the best interest of Mussina and the team.
For the first time in Mussina's 17 seasons, he has allowed at least six earned runs in three straight starts and lasted three innings or fewer in back-to-back outings.
Mussina has allowed 19 earned runs in 9 2-3 innings - an ERA of 17.69 - in his last three starts, his season ERA rising from 4.50 to 5.53. The Yankees have lost the three starts by a combined 42-14.
He had won four straight starts before allowing seven runs - six earned - in five innings of a 8-5 loss to the Tigers on Aug. 16. In his next outing, he gave up seven runs in 1 2-3 innings in Anaheim, a game the Yankees lost 18-9.
Mussina had worked with pitching coach Ron Guidry between starts, and Torre had expressed optimism that the 38-year-old right-hander would pitch more aggressively. But the 247-game winner left Monday's game with the Yankees trailing 6-0.
New York has lost five of seven games and fallen eight games behind AL East-leading Boston. The Yankees, who had closed within four games of the Red Sox when the trip started, host Boston in a three-game set starting Tuesday night.
``It's hard not to be worried, especially with the Red Sox coming to town this week,'' former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who attended the game following a fundraiser for his presidential campaign, said during the sixth inning. ``But I'm a Yankees fan, so I believe that we'll win 10 straight, Boston will lose 10 straight and we'll be ahead by three games.''
Giuliani attended the first start of Mussina's skid, an 18-9 loss at the Los Angeles Angels.
``It is hard to get to games when you are campaigning, but I'm afraid the Yankees are going to ban me from their games,'' Giuliani said. ``The last time I saw them play was in Anaheim, and the Angels scored 18 runs.''
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