For 13 games in a row, the Yankees made nearly every play, hit every home run, and won every game.
That changed in a 3-2 loss to the Athletics on Saturday, when Aaron Judge hit a two-run homer off Sergio Romo with one out in the top of the ninth inning to pull the Yankees within a run.
The Yankees’ longest winning streak in sixty years came to an end when Giancarlo Stanton popped out and Joey Gallo grounded out.
“Just one of those days,” Anthony Rizzo said after blooping a single to left before Judge’s ninth-inning home run.
For seven innings, the Yankees produced nothing against Oakland right-hander Frankie Montas, and Andrew Chafin blanked them in the eighth.
The Yankees’ defense wasn’t great, and Nestor Cortes wasn’t quite as sharp as he had been in recent starts, but the main culprit on Saturday was a lineup that had been clicking like crazy all year.
Montas faced just two batters over the minimum, allowing Judge only two hits and LeMahieu a walk.
The Yankees entered the game having hit ten home runs in their previous three games, a season high for a three-game stretch, and scoring at least five runs in eight of their previous nine games, also a season high.
However, after Judge’s two-out double in the first inning, the Yankees were unable to put another runner in scoring position against Montas, who had a 2.54 ERA in his previous 10 starts.
In the bottom of the second, they were down 2-0.
Cortes struck out the first two batters in the inning before Chad Pinder hit a two-run double to center, barely beating Judge’s throw to second base.
On four pitches, Sean Murphy walked, and Tony Kemp followed with a single up the middle, scoring Pinder and advancing Murphy to third.
Cortes attempted to pick off Kemp at first with runners on the corners, but third-base umpire Will Little called him for a balk, allowing Murphy to score and make it 2-0.
Cortes and Rizzo argued the call unsuccessfully before Cortes was able to get out of the inning.
Little also blundered at third base the next inning, when Starling Marte stole third but was caught by Odor in time. The call stood because the Yankees had already lost their challenge.
Yan Gomes followed with a liner to the left of second base that was caught by LeMahieu. To double up Marte, LeMahieu threw to third, but Odor’s foot was off the bag. Regardless, Little called him out, and Oakland was stunned to lose the challenge, resulting in manager Bob Melvin’s ejection.
Matt Chapman led off the fourth inning with a home run to left-center, giving the A’s a 3-0 lead.
In 5 1/3 innings, Cortes only gave up that much. It was only the second time this season that he had given up more than two runs in a single start.
Albert Abreu and Lucas Luetge pitched well in relief to give the Yankees’ offense time to rally, but they couldn’t.
Judge led off the seventh inning with a single, the Yankees’ second hit of the day, but Stanton struck out and Gallo grounded into a double play.
“It felt like we hit the ball hard all game,’’ Cortes said of the offense. “We just couldn’t seal the deal.”
Judge, still as hot as any player in the majors, gave the Yankees a chance at the end and said the since-ended streak “shows what we’re capable of.”
“It’s something I preached about this team,’’ Judge said. “A lot of people didn’t believe it. We can win games a lot of ways.”