The Yankees’ bullpen issues — and losing ways — followed them back home from their nightmarish West Coast flop.
Tyler Clippard was the main culprit on Tuesday, as the Yankees extended their season-high losing streak to seven games with an 8-3 defeat to the Angels in The Bronx, as even a return to Yankee Stadium couldn’t help them.
With the loss, the Yankees now trail the Red Sox — 8-3 winners over the Royals — by a half-game in the AL East.
Clippard entered a tie game to open the seventh and gave up a leadoff homer to Cameron Maybin to give the Angels the lead for good.
Kole Calhoun followed with a double to right-center and he advanced to third on a long fly to center by Albert Pujols.
Calhoun scored on Yunel Escobar’s triple to left, as Brett Gardner couldn’t get to the ball at the fence.
Clippard, who pitched well for the first two months of the season, has been a disaster lately and all four batters he faced on Tuesday hit him hard.
In his last seven appearances, the right-hander has given up six earned runs — and three homers — in just 5 ²/₃ innings.
The implosion wasted a comeback from a 3-0 deficit by the Yankees’ offense after Michael Pineda recovered from a shaky first two innings.
Pineda gave up three runs, but just one earned in 5 ²/₃ innings.
He allowed the first three batters he faced to reach base, including an RBI single through the left side of the infield by Albert Pujols.
Pineda somehow got out of the first without the Angels scoring again, but needed 27 pitches to finish the frame.
After the Yankees got a pair of walks in the bottom of the inning, Starlin Castro whiffed to end the threat — and things got worse for the Yankees in the second.
Aaron Judge belts a solo homer in the fifth inning.Paul J. Bereswill
Chris Carter couldn’t handle Eric Young Jr.’s hard grounder down the line, which went for a two-base error.
Young scored on Danny Espinosa’s one-out double to the gap and Espinosa was driven in on Kole Calhoun’s single to center with two outs to make it 3-0.
While those two runs were unearned thanks to Carter’s miscue, Pineda hardly helped himself — and was at 49 pitches through just two innings. He tossed 105 pitches on the night.
He recovered to retire nine in a row, but the offense had a hard time getting to right-hander Parker Bridwell, who was making just his second start in the majors.
Bridwell limited the Yankees to just an unearned run (on seven hits) in 3 ²/₃ innings of relief in Anaheim last week and on Tuesday held the Yankees without a hit until Castro singled to right to open the fourth.
He moved to second when Gary Sanchez walked, the fifth issued by Bridwell. Castro later scored on Chase Headley’s sacrifice fly to make it 3-1.
Aaron Judge went deep for his major-league leading 24th homer with two outs in the fifth to get the Yankees to within 3-2.
Former Yankee Blake Parker replaced Bridwell after five innings, as Bridwell walked five on the night.
Sanchez tied the game with a line-drive homer to right with one out in the sixth, but the good feelings didn’t last long at the Stadium, where the Yankees had beaten the Angels nine straight times.
Instead, they have turned their recent six-game winning streak into a distant memory — and dropped to 4-11 against AL West opponents and fell to 22-10 at home, still the best in the AL.
But these days, it doesn’t seem to matter where the Yankees play.