NEW YORK (AP) — The Yankees’ Didi Gregorius tore cartilage in his right wrist while scoring the run that clinched a wild card berth for New York, manager Aaron Boone said after his team wasted a three-run lead in a 6-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.
Boone said Gregorius was hurt when he slid into home plate head-first to score from first on Aaron Hicks’ 11th-inning double Saturday. The shortstop sat out Sunday. Boone said he was unsure if Gregorius, who has 27 homers and 86 RBIs, would be able to return in time for the postseason.
Tim Beckham homered twice for the lowly Orioles, who trailed 3-0.
J.A. Happ needed 107 pitches to get through five innings in a possible tuneup for the AL wild-card game. Happ allowed only one run, but A.J. Cole (3-1) quickly coughed up a two-run lead as the Yankees rested their best relievers one day after clinching a trip to the postseason.
New York began the day leading Oakland by 1½ games for home-field advantage in the wild-card game, and Boone said it’s important to the Yankees to get that game in the Bronx. They sure didn’t play that way, though.
The Athletics hosted Minnesota in a later game.
Baltimore (45-110) remained one loss shy of matching the franchise record for defeats set by the 1939 St. Louis Browns, who went 43-111.
Alex Cobb lasted only four pitches in an abbreviated start for the Orioles, apparently leaving with another blister problem. The right-hander exited his previous outing Sept. 11 after two innings because of a blister on his middle finger.
The Yankees took advantage by scoring three times in the first, but then their bats went silent against a parade of Orioles relievers. Mike Wright Jr. replaced Cobb and walked three straight batters, but settled in to throw four innings.
Ryan Meisinger (2-0) pitched two perfect innings, Tanner Scott and Cody Carroll each tossed a scoreless inning, and Mychal Givens worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his ninth save.
Renato Nunez also homered for Baltimore, and DJ Stewart drove in two runs off the bench. Joey Rickard had three hits.
Miguel Andujar and slumping Gary Sanchez each had an RBI single for the Yankees in the first. Gleyber Torres delivered a sacrifice fly.
Cole entered with a 3-1 lead in the sixth, but immediately gave up a double to Trey Mancini and a two-run homer by Beckham. Nunez followed with his seventh home run, chasing Cole.
Stewart added a sacrifice fly as a pinch-hitter later in the inning, then doubled home a run in the eighth.
Beckham’s third career multi-homer game included a solo shot off Happ in the second.
Orioles: 2B Breyvic Valera exited in the fifth with a broken left index finger after getting tagged out on a headfirst dive into home plate. He was replaced by Steve Wilkerson. Valera was acquired from the Dodgers in July as part of the trade for Manny Machado. … RHP Andrew Cashner has been bothered by pain in his left knee and manager Buck Showalter said it will be “kind of his call” whether he pitches again this season. … Showalter said RHP Evan Phillips probably won’t pitch again this season as the Orioles limit his innings.
Yankees: CF Aaron Hicks walked in the seventh as a pinch-hitter and stayed in the game. Hicks fouled a ball off his ankle Saturday just before hitting a game-ending double. “He’ll be all right,” Boone said. … RF Aaron Judge also entered as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and remained in the game.
Orioles: Before this miserable season finally comes to an end, the Orioles still have seven games left against Boston and Houston — the top two teams in the majors. Both have already clinched playoff spots. RHP Dylan Bundy (8-15, 5.37 ERA) is scheduled to start Monday night at Fenway Park against RHP Nathan Eovaldi (5-7, 3.98).
Yankees: Keeping its options open with an eye on planning for the wild-card game, New York had not announced a starting pitcher for the opener of a four-game series Monday night at Tampa Bay. RHP Luis Severino (18-8, 3.38 ERA) is on turn.
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