Game 138. Yanks miss chance to gain ground, lose 5-3.

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When you see the team you are trying to gain ground on getting spanked, you have to capitalize on the opportunity. Tonight the Yanks didn’t, as they lost 5-3 to the Orioles.

They did it in many ways. Defensively, Stephen Drew botched one play that led to a run in the first. His two-0ut, two-run error later in the fifth also hurt. The offense got only four hits all game. The player who drove in all three Yankees’ runs and had two of the four hits seemed to take a bad route to a ball in the 9th. The bullpen couldn’t hold Baltimore.

Brett Gardner pinch-hit but didn’t start because of the shoulder issue. Meanwhile, Jacoby Ellsbury is down to .267. The Yanks need the table setters.

Baltimore got a run in the first. Maybe if Drew can start the 4-6-3 DP instead of having to settle for a 4-3 out (with the runner moving up), the O’s don’t score.

Beltran tied the game with an opposite-field homer in the bottom of the first. HR #15 was #388 of Beltran’s career.

Beltran put the Yanks up 3-1 in the third with a two-run single. After that, it was all downhill.

With two out and two on in the fifth, CC hit a batter to load the bases and Warren came in. He got a ground ball to Headley, who lollypopped a throw to second. Yes, the throw should have had a little more zip, but Drew has to catch the ball. He didn’t and two runs scored on what should have been an inning-ending groundout. Tie game.

In the eighth, Warren gave up a HR to Steve Pearce to put the O’s up 4-3. The O’s added an insurance run in the 9th on a double by Chris Davis. I don’t know if Beltran could have got it, but in looking at the video, it did appear as if he got a bad read and took a bad route to the ball.

As mentioned, the Yanks got just four hits in the game, two by Beltran. Jacoby Ellsbury, as mentioned above, is down to .267 and Brett Gardner has missed a few games with a bum shoulder. It would be beneficial if both could play, get hot and set the table.

So now the Yanks start a big four-game series vs. Toronto tomorrow night 1 1/2 games behind the Blue Jays for the AL East lead. Since Toronto was spanked by Boston tonight, it would have been nice to win this one to cut that lead to 1/2 game. It wasn’t to be.

The Yanks are 77-61, 1 1/2 back. As for the WC, they still have a  3 1/2 game lead for WC#1 as of this writing, and a 6 game lead for WC#2. The magic # to make the playoffs, even as the second wild card, is 19.

Sabathia 4 2/3 IP, 3 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 3 walks and 5 K. 5.16
Warren (L, 6-6, 3.29) 2 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 walk and 1 K.
Rumbelow 2/3 IP, 1 R, 0 H, 1 walks and 1 K. 3.18
Pazos 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 Walks and 0 K. 0.00
Mitchell 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 walk and 1 K. 4.44.

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