Yankees rightfielder Giancarlo Stanton looks for the ball on a...

Yankees rightfielder Giancarlo Stanton looks for the ball on a double by Atlanta's Marcell Ozuna off the wall during the second inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023, in Atlanta. Credit: AP/John Bazemore

ATLANTA — Team Titanic, having struck the iceberg weeks ago in sinking to the bottom of the American League East, officially is a sub-.500 team.

The Yankees completed a calamitous three-city trip Wednesday night with a 2-0 loss to Atlanta, which completed a three-game sweep and continued a spiral that shows no signs of improving with six weeks left in the season.

The Yankees (60-61), one-hit the night before in a 5-0 loss, piggybacked that by amassing four hits Wednesday to finish this trip 2-7. The trip began with series losses to the White Sox and Marlins.

“Didn’t go the way we wanted it to,” Aaron Judge said. “We’ve got work to do. We have an off day coming up, time to reset and get back to it. We’re just a couple of streaks away from being right where we want to be.”

The Yankees, who have lost five straight and are 6 1⁄2 games out of the last AL wild-card spot, are off Thursday before opening a three-game series at home against Boston, which is one of the teams ahead of them in the wild-card chase.

But the playoffs are a pipe dream at the moment, with the larger, more pertinent question being whether the Yankees will finish under .500 for the first time since 1992.

That currently seems a more probable end result than the postseason for a team that is 24-36 (.400) in its last 60 games.

“The game is still littered with examples of teams going on unlikely runs,” Aaron Boone. “I know we’ve put ourselves in that position to not give anyone that confidence, but we have to continue to work and fight and compete to do that.”

Of his club’s spot in the standings, Boone said: “I get it looks bleak, and I don’t want to even suggest that we’re in a position to even talk about that [going on an unlikely run]. We have to fix our own house and get it going. But there’s a lot of season left, too, and we have to look at it that way.”

Righthander Charlie Morton was the latest pitcher to emerge from a game against the Yankees feeling better about himself than when he entered, allowing four hits and a walk over six innings. Morton (12-10, 3.54) struck out 10. The Yankees struck out 13 times overall.

“Last night, it was we had a hard time keeping the ball off the ground, tonight I thought we expanded a little too much,” Boone said.

Yankees rookie righthander Randy Vasquez pitched OK, allowing two runs, two hits and three walks over 3 1⁄3 innings in which he struck out three. The two runs came on Eddie Rosario’s two-run homer in the second.

Michael King was terrific in relief, allowing a hit and a walk and striking out three in 3 2⁄3 scoreless innings.

The Yankees, who outhit Atlanta 4-3, did not give themselves a lot of chances, going 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and stranding five.

After Morton struck out two in a perfect top of the second, Atlanta (78-42), which in addition to having the sport’s best record also has its top offense (702 runs) and outscored both New York teams 58-13 in the last week, took the lead in the bottom half of the inning.

Marcell Ozuna, who keyed Tuesday’s victory with a three-run homer off Luis Severino in the first inning, led off with a double to right. Rosario then hit his second homer of the series, blasting a first-pitch sinker 422 feet to center, for his 18th home run to make it 2-0.

The last Yankee to get in scoring position was Anthony Volpe, who singled with one out in the fifth and went to second on a wild pitch. But Kyle Higashioka grounded out as did DJ LeMahieu.

“We’ve seen spurts of it throughout the year where we kind of get on a hot streak, but we’re still looking for that long hot streak that we really haven’t gotten all year,” Judge said. “No better time than now.”


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