EditorsNote: rewords seventh graf
Pinch hitter Aaron Judge struck out in the seventh inning with a chance to tie the game, and the New York Yankees were handed a 6-3 loss by the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
After the Yankees clinched a spot in the American League wild-card game Saturday, Judge was among the New York regulars to get the day off from starting.
He entered as a pinch hitter with the Yankees down 5-3 after pinch hitter Aaron Hicks drew a one-out walk against Tanner Scott. Judge’s sixth career at-bat as a pinch hitter ended with him making the second out, and Scott fanned Andrew McCutchen to end the inning.
The Yankees (95-60) have a magic number of six to secure home-field advantage for the wild-card game. They hold a 1 1/2-game lead over Oakland (94-62) after the A’s lost 5-1 to the visiting Minnesota Twins on Saturday.
The Yankees faced a 5-3 deficit after A.J. Cole (4-2) blew a 3-1 lead in the sixth by allowing a two-run homer to Tim Beckham and a solo homer to Renato Nunez. Tommy Kahnle allowed a sacrifice fly to pinch hitter DJ Stewart, who also hit an RBI double in the eighth off Luis Cessa.
New York scored three runs in the first off Mike Wright Jr., who entered when starter Alex Cobb was removed due to a blister after four pitches. Cobb exited after a 2-2 pitch to McCutchen, and the Yankees took the lead on a sacrifice fly by Gleyber Torres ahead of RBI singles by Miguel Andujar and Gary Sanchez.
Beckham, who hit a solo homer in the second inning off J.A. Happ, recorded his second career multi-homer game.
Happ allowed one run and five hits in five innings before Cole imploded.
The Orioles (45-110) avoided matching the franchise record for losses in a season set by the St. Louis Browns, who finished 64 1/2 games out of first place.
Wright allowed three runs on three hits in four innings. Ryan Meisinger (2-0) followed with two scoreless innings, and Mychal Givens tossed a perfect ninth to notch his ninth save.
Baltimore’s fifth win in its last 21 games also proved costly as second baseman Breyvic Valera fractured a bone in his left index finger on a slide at home in the fifth inning.
—Field Level Media