NEW YORK -- An evening filled with missed opportunities finally caught up to the Yankees on Monday, as Aaron Judge's 6-foot-8 frame could have used one more inch to bring in Ronald Acuna Jr.'s deep drive off Player Page for David Robertson. The ball tipped the top of his glove
NEW YORK -- An evening filled with missed opportunities finally caught up to the Yankees on Monday, as Aaron Judge's 6-foot-8 frame could have used one more inch to bring in Ronald Acuna Jr.'s deep drive off Player Page for David Robertson. The ball tipped the top of his glove and landed in the seats for a two-run homer, lifting the Braves to a 5-3, 11-inning victory at Yankee Stadium.
As the standout Atlanta rookie rounded the bases, celebrating his seventh big league blast, the Yankees could only blame themselves for allowing the game to get to that point. Despite an early homer by Judge and the first three-hit game of Gleyber Torres' young career, New York finished 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position, leaving 12 men on base as they fell to second place in the American League East.
"That's what it always comes down to when you lose, the missed opportunities," Judge said. "For us, we had runners in scoring position. Even myself, I had quite a few chances with runners on base and I didn't come through. Just reflect on that and get ready for tomorrow."
Most prominently, the Yanks left two men on in the eighth and had the bases loaded in the 10th. A leadoff single by Didi Gregorius and Aaron Hicks' ground-rule double put the Yankees in position for victory, but after an intentional walk, Jesse Biddle struck out Greg Bird and Austin Romine to power out of the jam.
"More often than not, we'll come through in those situations," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "We just couldn't get over the hump tonight. It's a little frustrating, but that's part of it too. You give them credit tonight. They got it done."
Judge's team-leading 23rd homer started the attack against Atlanta starter Anibal Sanchez, who allowed three runs and six hits over six innings. Torres legged out a third-inning double and advanced on a pair of wild pitches to produce New York's second run, and Gregorius lifted a fifth-inning sacrifice fly before the bats went silent.
Atlanta took a while to break through. The Bronx Bombers' bullpen combined for six scoreless innings in relief of starter Jonathan Loaisiga, as Jonathan Holder and Chad Green each hurled a pair of blank frames. Chapman fanned the side in the ninth and Dellin Betances worked out of trouble in the 10th before Robertson was burned by Acuna.
"Playing here in Yankee Stadium, you see it all the time," Robertson said. "That short porch gets you in right field. I wish Judge would've caught it. That would have been awesome, but it just didn't happen tonight."
The Yankees did not squeeze much length out of Loaisiga, who permitted three runs over four innings in his fourth big league start and was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after the game, though Boone said the right-hander will likely be recalled to start one of the games in next Monday's doubleheader against the Orioles.
Johan Camargo hit a third-inning homer, the first permitted by Loaisiga in the Majors. Three consecutive fourth-inning doubles off the bats of Nick Markakis, Kurt Suzuki and Acuna produced another pair of Atlanta runs.
"I helped the team win two games," said Loaisiga, who absorbed his first career loss. "It was a beautiful experience for me and learning process. Now I just want to focus and try to get back as soon as possible to help the team."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Boone was quizzed about several decisions, including sending Bird up against the left-handed Biddle with the bases loaded and one out in the 10th inning. With the right-handed Brandon Drury remaining on the bench, Bird struck out on three pitches before Romine fanned on four pitches.
"It was a close call, but with the bases-loaded situation there and it being tied, the walk comes into play," Boone said. "The on-base factor is why I stuck with Bird there. If it was a different situation where you need a hit or something, then maybe it's a different play, coupled with the fact that Dru was the last guy we had on the bench."
On the topic of Gardner's double play that erased Torres in the ninth, Boone said he did not instruct Gardner to bunt in part because Judge was on deck.
"If we bunt and we're successful, we take the bat out of Judge's hands," Boone said. "When you have two guys that get on base as much as Gardy and Judge, you're at least as inclined to score by not giving them an out in that situation. When you have two high on-base guys, if one of them gets on base, you're basically in the same scenario if you bunt and make an out on purpose."
Judge is batting .354/.480/.734 with 39 runs, 12 doubles, 42 RBIs and 39 walks in 44 games at Yankee Stadium this season. J.D. Martinez of the Red Sox (17) is the only Major Leaguer with more homers at home than Judge.
The Yankees and Braves will continue their Interleague series on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET, with right-hander Domingo German (2-4, 5.32 ERA) making his 10th start of the season for New York. German will be pitching on extended rest as he returns to a starting role, having pitched out of the bullpen on June 27 at Philadelphia. Left-hander Sean Newcomb (8-2, 2.71) makes the start for Atlanta.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.