Yankees' Juan Soto reacts after flying out to Los Angeles...

Yankees' Juan Soto reacts after flying out to Los Angeles Angels right fielder Jo Adell to end the baseball game Tuesday, May 28, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun) Credit: Ryan Sun

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Just like that, the Yankees took a shocking loss.

Anthony Rizzo mishandled a grounder with two outs in the eighth inning Tuesday night, breathing life into an awful Angels team seemingly going through the motions on their way to yet another loss.

But Rizzo’s miscue on Luis Rengifo’s grounder put two on base and when Taylor Ward lined a first-pitch Clay Holmes sinker over the head of Alex Verdugo in left to score both runners, the Angels took the lead.

The Yankees went quietly in the ninth against Carlos Estevez and took a 4-3 loss in front of 34,894 at Angel Stadium, about half of whom were cheering for the visitors.

“Play needs to be made,” Rizzo said. “Kind of overslid it and it bounced off my glove. Play needs to be made. Clay comes in, gives up a hit, [he] should have never been in the game if I make that play, so it’s a tough one.”

It marked a second straight loss for the Yankees, who fell to 37-19 and 2-2 on this three-city, nine-game West Coast trip. The Angels are 21-33.

Luke Weaver, who struck out two in a perfect seventh, allowed a leadoff single in the eighth to pinch hitter Willie Calhoun, a Yankee last season. Pinch hitter Luis Guillorme lined out to second and Weaver struck out Nolan Schanuel swinging at a 96-mph fastball.

But after Rizzo’s misplay — the play was initially, and correctly, scored an error but postgame changed to a hit — on Rengifo’s grounder that necessitated the first baseman shuffle to his right, Aaron Boone called on Holmes. Ward jumped the closer’s first pitch for the go-ahead double.

“He was ready for it,” Holmes said. “I feel like I was trying to get him on the ground and just kind of got beat on that pitch ... He just put a good swing on that sinker and pulled it in the air, which doesn’t happen very often.”

Rizzo, a four-time Gold Glove winner, characterized his defense so far this season as “disappointing.”

“To the standard that I hold myself to, I need to be better,” he added.

DJ LeMahieu, who returned to the lineup after starting the season on the IL — he started at third and hit ninth for the first time since doing so his first two games with the Yankees in 2019 — went 0-for-3 with a walk.

“He kind of embodied our night a little bit offensively,” said Aaron Boone, whose team could have had far more than the nine hits it did, hitting the ball hard throughout. “I thought he had four good at-bats. Hit the ball off the barrel  ... No hits to show for it but four good at-bats for him.”

The pitching was good once again, setting a big-league record.

When Tommy Kahnle retired two straight to end the sixth, stranding a runner at second, that closed the book on Nestor Cortes.

Cortes allowed two runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings, marking the 15th straight outing a Yankees starter has thrown at least five innings and allowed two earned runs or fewer. The previous record was 14, shared by the 2022 Mets, the 1968 Pirates and the 1907 Phillies.

Anthony Volpe extended his hitting streak to 20 games, the longest current hitting streak in the big leagues, with a two-out single in the second. It marked the longest hitting streak for a Yankee since Robinson Cano hit in 23 straight games in 2012. (Volpe had been tied at 19 straight with his childhood idol, Derek Jeter, who accomplished his in 2012.)

Juan Soto’s homer in the first — the rightfielder’s 15th of the season — provided Cortes an early lead, but he gave it right back in the bottom half when Kevin Pillar golfed a 1-and-0- slider over the small wall in left, his sixth homer, a two-run shot that made it 2-1. Soto’s RBI single in the fourth tied it at 2-2 and the Yankees went ahead in the fifth on Austin Wells’ RBI double. Rizzo scored on the play, but Gleyber Torres, on an aggressive send by third-base coach Luis Rojas, was easily thrown out at the plate.

Kind words for Angel

Boone, who has had plenty of run-ins with umpires as Yankees manager, did not pile on when it came to Angel Hernandez and Monday’s announcement that the longtime controversial umpire was retiring, effective immediately.

“I think he’s wrongly been the poster child, to be a punching bag, for officiating, and I think sometimes that’s been unfair and over the top,” Boone said. “Reality is, he spent a lot of time in this league and cared about his craft, so I wish him well. He’s a great guy and I wish him well in his next chapter.”

Boone has been ejected 35 times as a manager (five times as a player), none by Hernandez.

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