Despite Ivan Nova’s career high 12 strikeouts and a rally in the ninth inning the Yankees (21-19) could not get past the Cincinnati Reds (20-19) on Saturday afternoon losing 6-5.  Nova, who had a strange start where he struck out 12 and still gave up five runs in six innings pitched had great stuff, but just made a few costly mistakes.

The Reds got on the board in the first inning after Drew Stubbs walked, stole second and came around to score on a Brandon Phillips RBI single. In the second inning they would add another run, this time from a Chris Heisey RBI double.  In the first two innings Nova gave up two runs and still managed to strike out the side each inning; the first eight outs recorded by Nova were strike outs.

The Yankees would answer back with a run in the third and fourth innings. In the third Russell Martin hit an opposite field solo shot off of Reds starter Homer Bailey. It was Martin’s fourth of the season.  In the fourth a Raul Ibanez RBI double tied the game at two.

The big blast of the day came in the fifth.  With two men on Red’s slugger Joey Votto stepped in and lifted a three run home run to right field off of Ivan Nova. Votto now has seven home runs and 28 RBI on the season.

The Yankees would add another in the fifth inning thanks to a Jayson Nix solo home run, his second of the year. Nix finished the game 3-4 with 2 RBI hitting in the nine spot.

In the ninth inning the Yankees rallied and had the tying and winning runs in scoring position off of Reds reliever Sean Marshall.  Raul Ibanez led off the ninth with a double, Nick Swisher followed with an RBI single putting the Yankees within two, 6-4. Russell Martin struck out for the first out. Andruw Jones singled putting runners on the corners with one out.  Jayson Nix then singled scoring Swisher. Dusty Baker then pulled Marshall for Jose Arredondo and that would be all for the Yankees, Derek Jeter grounded into a fielder’s choice for the second out and Curtis Granderson with runners on second and third grounded out to first to end the game. It was Arrendondo’s first save of the year.

The Yankees meet the Reds for the rubber matchup on Sunday afternoon.  C.C. Sabathia (5-1 3.77) starts for the Yankees while Johnny Cueto (4-1 1.89) goes for the Reds. Pregame starts at 12:30, first pitch at 1:05 right here on 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio.