For two years, it seemed the Yankees could always find a way to beat the Orioles in The Bronx.
And Wednesday, it appeared just a matter of time before the Yankees made it 13 in a row at home versus Baltimore.
But a costly error by Gleyber Torres, a bloop hit off Chad Green and a lack of timely hitting by the Yankees — along with a strong throw from right field by Anthony Santander — added up to a 4-3, 11-inning loss.
Chance Sisco’s flare single to left off Green in the 11th scored automatic runner Rio Ruiz from third to put the Orioles ahead for good.
Brett Gardner bunted Gio Urshela to third in the bottom of the inning before DJ LeMahieu lofted a fly ball to shallow right. Urshela tried to score, but was thrown out by Santander.
Asked if he thought his fly ball would score Urshela when it left his bat, LeMahieu said: “Probably not. I hit it pretty hard and [Santander] had time to set his feet and made the throw. It didn’t work out, and they made the play.”
In the previous inning, Green had seemingly escaped trouble when he got Pedro Severino to ground to Torres with Santander at third and two out. But Torres made another poor play and bounced the throw to Jay Bruce at first. Bruce couldn’t pick it and Santander scored the go-ahead run on the error.
Before the game, manager Aaron Boone defended Torres’ performance on defense after the shortstop had made another misplay on Tuesday.
The Yankees won Tuesday’s game, but they couldn’t overcome Torres’ latest error.
Boone said Torres needed to get “more on target” with the throw that got away from him.
“We have to continue to reinforce a lot of the good things and progress he legitimately has made [at short],’’ Boone said. “We’ve got to trust in that. He has all the capabilities to be able to go out there and do it. A high-profile miscue, he’s got to be able get past that. There’s gonna be trials and bumps along the way for all of us in this game. He has the confidence to know he has the equipment to get through it.”
Torres was bailed out momentarily in the bottom of the 10th inning, when Kyle Higashioka singled to right and pinch-runner Tyler Wade raced home with the tying run, just beating Santander’s throw. Urshela wasn’t as fortunate an inning later.
The Yankees trailed by a run heading into the bottom of the eighth, having left nine runners on despite hitting the ball hard throughout the night.
But with two out and no one on, Gary Sanchez singled on a liner to left that was misplayed by Ryan Mountcastle.
Sanchez was replaced by pinch runner Mike Tauchman, a move that immediately paid off, as Urshela doubled to left-center and Tauchman raced home, just under the tag of Pedro Severino at the plate.
“Two great base-running plays,’’ Boone said of Tauchman and Wade, who came off the bench.
That tied the game at 2-2 and Gardner followed with an infield hit, sending Urshela to third, but LeMahieu grounded out to end the inning.
Nick Nelson, Darren O’Day, Jonathan Loaisiga and Aroldis Chapman combined for 4 ¹/₃ scoreless innings in relief of Jameson Taillon, who made his first start in nearly two years, coming back from a second Tommy John surgery.
Taillon was excellent to start the game, retiring the first nine batters he faced, while the Yankees consistently threatened against Baltimore lefty John Means.
They broke through in the third with an Aaron Hicks RBI single, which scored Gardner.
The Orioles quickly tied the game when Cedric Mullins led off the fourth with a long homer into the right field bleachers. Mullins was the first batter to reach against Taillon, who then struck out Trey Mancini for the first out. But Santander took Taillon deep again, this time into the Yankees’ bullpen in right-center to give Baltimore a 2-1 lead.
Taillon was pulled with two outs in the fifth, having allowed two runs. He struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter.
The Yankees tried to get Taillon off the hook in the bottom of the fifth, with singles by Torres and Giancarlo Stanton — this one measured at 115 mph — off Means, but former Yankees prospect Dillon Tate got Clint Frazier to ground out to end the threat.