Game 158. Yanks’ comeback falls short. Lead over A’s 1 1/2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks (97-61) opened and closed the game strong offensively, but didn’t do anything in between as a furious ninth inning comeback came up just short in a 8-7 loss to Tampa Bay Wednesday night.

The A’s won, so the Yanks’ magic # over the A’s to clinch home field for the wild card game next Wednesday remains at 2. The Yanks lead the A’s by 1 1/2 games.

Neil Walker hit his 11th HR of the season, a 3-run shot, to give the Yanks a 3-0 lead in the top of the first.

But Masahiro Tanaka had nothing, giving 3 right back to the Rays in the bottom of the first.

In the third, Tanaka gave up a HR, 4-3 Rays. If this was an audition for starting the wild card game, Tanaka didn’t help himself.

The Yanks loaded the bases in the fifth with one out, but Giancarlo Stanton GIDP.

In the bottom of the eighth, David Robertson came in and had nothing, giving up 4 runs, and yes, Gary Sanchez committed another passed ball. 8-3 Rays.

The Yanks scored four in the top of the ninth. Sanchez walked and with one out, Brett Gardner singled. Andrew McCutchen singled to load the bases. Aaron Judge singled in a run. Luke Voit singled in two runs. Giancarlo Stanton singled in a run. But Tyler Wade flied out and Miguel Andujar popped up to end the game.

Injury report: Didi Gregorius has been cleared to play. He didn’t Wednesday, but the cortisone shot in the wrist is helping. Aaron Hicks didn’t play because of the turf and a tight hamstring. Gleyber Torres didn’t start (tight hip/groin) but did come into the game later.

McCutchen 2 hits
Judge 2 hits, RBI
Voit 3 hits, 2 RBI
Walker 3-run HR

Tanaka (L, 12-6, 3.75) 4 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 6 H, 1 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.  2.88
Green 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 2 K.   2.53
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.   2.49
Robertson 1/3 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 H, 1 W, 1 K.   3.26
Sheffield 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.  0.00

Sheffield made a costly error on a pickoff attempt that enabled the final run to score.

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