NEW YORK — Gio Urshela raced home and slid head first, but Anthony Santander's throw was right on target to nail him at the plate.
That's how the Yankees' 4-3, 11-inning loss to the Orioles ended Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium, with Baltimore managing to scratch out the runs it needed in extra innings to secure the win and avoid a sweep.
The Orioles took a one-run lead in the 10th when Santander, the automatic runner, scored on a throwing error by Gleyber Torres.
The Yankees tied it back up again in the bottom of the inning when Kyle Higashioka drove in Tyler Wade, but the Orioles re-took the lead in the 11th.
This time, they managed to hold onto it.
Jameson Taillon started a big-league game for the first time in nearly two years after a long recovery from his second Tommy John Surgery. He gave up two solo home runs in the fourth, but those were the lone mistakes he made in 4⅔ innings.
The bullpen took over and stifled the Orioles' lineup to keep the Yankees' deficit to one run until they eventually tied it in the eighth.
Gary Sanchez singled to left and Mike Tauchman replaced him as a pinch-runner. Gio Urshela drove Tauchman in with a double, with Tauchman sliding head first into home to just beat the relay throw and even the score at 2.
The Yankees were without Aaron Judge, who had gotten off to an 8-of-22 start and had home runs in each of the previous two games, after he was held out of the starting lineup because of soreness in his side. Boone said before the game that he wanted to get the outfielder rest, and the off day will give him even more.
Still, the Yankees had scoring opportunities through the early innings but couldn't capitalize.
They had runners on the corners in the first before Clint Frazier flied out to end the inning.
After an RBI single from Aaron Hicks in the third, the Yanks had runners on first and second with one out in the third before Giancarlo Stanton grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Then Sanchez hit a one-out double in the sixth and tagged up on Urshela's fly-out to deep centerfield, but Tanner Scott struck out Brett Gardner to end the inning.
DJ LeMahieu led off the bottom of the seventh with a single, but the Yankees couldn't drive him in — Torres flied out while Hicks and Stanton struck out.
Good debut for Jameson Taillon
Taillon allowed just three hits. He didn't walk a batter and struck out seven.
Taillon, who last pitched in a big-league game since May 1, 2019, threw three perfect innings before running into trouble in the fourth.
Cedric Mullins led off with a solo blast that tied the game at 1. After he struck out Trey Mancini, Taillon surrendered another homer to Anthony Santander that gave the Orioles the lead.
But Taillon bounced back, striking out four of the next five batters he faced before Boone removed him from the game and brought on Nick Nelson.
Taillon threw 74 pitches.
"We’ll have him on a pitch count but he also built up a pretty good workload here in spring training and that’s gone well," Boone said before the game. "He has recovered well, I feel like, and handled the workload well to this point. Remember he was probably ready to pitch in a big-league game last September. This is a guy that hasn’t spent the offseason rehabbing, more getting ready for his season. There’s some comfort in that."
The Yankees acquired Taillon from the Pirates in a January trade and he's a key part of their rebuilt rotation, though a big question mark because of his injury history.
But he got off to a good start Wednesday.
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