The Yankees finally woke up with two outs in the bottom of the ninth on Wednesday, but it came too late to salvage a dreadful loss to the Orioles.
Gleyber Torres hit a three-run homer to left to get the Yankees to within two runs before Greg Bird popped out to end the 7-5 defeat in The Bronx.
It came on the eve of their biggest series of the season, a four-game set at Fenway Park that begins Thursday.
This one featured another atrocious clunker from Sonny Gray, some shoddy infield play and a lineup that was shut down by Alex Cobb, perhaps the worst pitcher in the majors.
The Yankees sure didn’t look like a team ready to battle Boston for the top spot in the AL East, as they slipped 5½ games behind the idle Red Sox.
Trying to win four straight for the first time since June 18-21, the Yankees instead watched Gray get booed off the mound in the third inning, with what appeared to be a smile on his face.
Gray’s outing — 2 ²/₃ innings, seven runs, all earned — came on the heels of three straight solid starts, but it proved again that any thoughts of the right-hander being consistently reliable should be put aside.
He was replaced by Lance Lynn, who arrived at the Stadium after being acquired from the Twins earlier in the week.
Lynn saved much of the bullpen by tossing 4 ¹/₃ shutout innings, but the offense never got back in the game. Now Lynn, who was an option to start against the Red Sox on Saturday if J.A. Happ is unable to recover from hand, foot and mouth disease in time, won’t be available, and the Yankees might have to turn to Luis Cessa.
Cobb entered the game 2-14 with a 6.08 ERA and hadn’t earned a victory since beating the Mets at Citi Field on June 5.
Still, the right-hander limited the Yankees to one run over six innings before giving way to former Yankees prospect Cody Carroll, who made his MLB debut after being involved in the Zach Britton deal.
By the time Cobb left, Gray was long gone.
After allowing just two earned runs over his previous three starts, Gray unraveled in the second.
He allowed the first five batters to reach, including an RBI single by Trey Mancini. Renato Nunez pummeled a line drive to right, which fill-in outfielder Shane Robinson initially broke in on. The ball went to the wall, scoring two runs to make it 3-0.
With one out, Tim Beckham delivered a chopper that got through the middle of a drawn-in infield to drive in two more, and the Orioles led 5-0.
That drew a visit from pitching coach Larry Rothschild — and the third round of boos from the Stadium crowd of the inning.
Lynn started warming, but after a Jace Peterson single, Gray got Adam Jones to hit a liner to right that was caught by Robinson. Beckham was caught off second, and it turned into an inning-ending double play.
Torres opened the bottom of the inning with an opposite-field homer and Bird beat the shift with a bunt down the third-base line for the third time in a week. A one-out single by Austin Romine brought up Robinson.
Robinson, still on the roster after the Yankees didn’t add an outfielder at the deadline, popped to center before Brett Gardner reached on an infield hit to load the bases for Giancarlo Stanton.
Stanton whiffed to end the threat and keep it 5-1.
The Orioles added on in the third after Gray got the first two out in the inning. Mancini homered to center, Joseph walked and Nunez singled off Didi Gregorius’ glove into center.
Gray was pulled for Lynn, who gave up an infield hit to shortstop, scoring Joseph.
It was the third time in his last six starts Gray failed to complete three innings.
Lynn whiffed Beckham to end the inning before play was halted by rain for 39 minutes.
The Yankees got a bit of a rally going in the fourth, with a pair of one-out errors, but Robinson hit into a double play.
They scored a run in the eighth on a Miguel Andujar single with the bases loaded with no one out, but Romine struck out and pinch-hitter Neil Walker grounded into a double play.
Source: Read Full Article