The early lead didn't last. The bullpen didn't hold. And at the end of an ultra-frustrating first week at home, Stanton struck out once again to end an 8-7 Yankees loss to the Orioles.
Craig Gentry's two-out single off Adam Warren brought home the winning run. Orioles closer Brad Brach got the save, getting out of the bases-loaded jam by inducing Judge to bounce into a double play and then striking out Stanton.
The Yankees were stuck with a 5-5 record through 10 games as they get ready to head to Boston for their first meeting of the season with the Red Sox.
"We had a chance to finish off a good homestand," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
Instead, Boone was left to explain that he feels good about his bullpen, even though that heralded group has had a big hand in each of the team's five losses so far. He was left to explain he feels good about Stanton, even if the 2017 National League Most Valuable Player Award winner just had his second five-strikeout game in a week where he went 3-for-28, struck out 16 times and heard boos from his new home fans.
"I think in time he'll be fine," Boone said. "He's too good a player. Before long, it'll be an old story."
For now, though, the Yankees' stories are that the things that were supposed to be so good haven't been good enough. Stanton has three impressive home runs, but not enough in between. The bullpen has looked better, but three times this weekend against the Orioles, the Yanks' relievers were the ones who gave up the game.
"We expect to put up zeros," Warren said. "We expect to be great out there."
Instead, Yankees relievers have combined for a 4.89 ERA (compared to 3.34 last season). Sunday, after starter Jordan Montgomery gave back four of the five first-inning runs and didn't make it out of the fifth inning, reliever Domingo German gave up three runs in 2 2/3 innings, including an Anthony Santander home run that briefly put the Orioles in front, 7-6, in the seventh.
Dellin Betances, Aroldis Chapman, Chasen Shreve and David Robertson pitched scoreless innings, but Warren walked Pedro Alvarez with one out in the 12th and saw him come around to score the winning run.
"[The walk] was probably the one thing that bothered me," Warren said. "The [two hits] were ground balls that found holes."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED The missed chances: It wasn't just the 12th inning, when the Yankees threatened to score. There was also the 10th inning, when Didi Gregorius' one-out double set them up to win it. But Gentry went back to make a game-saving catch on Brett Gardner's fly ball, and after Orioles manager Buck Showalter intentionally walked Judge, O's reliever Richard Bleier got Stanton to ground into an inning-ending forceout.
Romine delivers three times: With Gary Sanchez out of the lineup for a second straight day with cramps in his right leg, Austin Romine was again the Yankees' catcher Sunday. Romine singled home a run in the five-run first and another in the fifth. After Santander had given the Orioles the lead in the top of the seventh, it was Romine's third single of the day that tied the game in the bottom of the inning.
QUOTABLE "You've just got to look at it as a bad week. The season's much longer than a week." -- Stanton
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS The Yankees and Orioles played 14 innings Friday night (with the O's winning, 7-3) before Sunday's marathon. It was the first Yankees home series with two games that went at least 12 innings since July 6-7, 1990, against the Twins. In that series, the Yankees lost a 2-0, 12-inning first game of a doubleheader, then won, 5-4, in 12 the following day.
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY The Yankees got a break in the bottom of the fifth inning, extending the fifth inning on a two-out replay review call that was overturned. Jace Peterson was ruled safe at first base after 51 seconds of review, beating out an infield hit to shortstop Manny Machado. The call brought Romine to the plate, and Romine singled off Miguel Castro down the right-field line to score another run and increase New York's lead to two.
WHAT'S NEXT The Yankees travel to Boston for their first 2018 meeting with the rival Red Sox. Right-hander Luis Severino (2-0, 1.38 ERA) gets the three-game series started Tuesday night at 7:10 ET at Fenway Park, with lefty Chris Sale (0-0, 0.82 ERA) on the mound for the Sox.