The nights could not have been more different.
On Sunday night, the Stadium crackled with energy as the Yankees bludgeoned the Red Sox with six home runs in taking a key midseason series from their rival.
But the heavy lumber, except for one Aaron Judge blast, stayed put on Monday night.
Returning to the bad old days from earlier in the season with runners in scoring position, the Yankees lost to the Atlanta Braves, 5-3, in 11 innings.
“That’s what it always comes down to whenever you lose. It’s the missed opportunities,” said Judge, who hit his 23rd homer of the season in the first inning. “I had quite a few chances with guys on base and I didn’t come through.”
Ronald Acuña Jr. hit a two-run homer in the 11th off David Robertson when Judge, leaping at the wall, had the ball glance off the top of his glove and drop into the first row of seats.
“Tough play,” Judge said. “I want to make that play for D-Rob and I wasn’t able to come through. If I time it up right, I make that play. I was just a little late.”
Gleyber Torres, who had three hits, committed an error on a grounder by Nick Markakis to start the inning.
The Yankees (54-28), who fell one game behind AL East-leading Boston, went 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12.
“That’s part of it,” said Aaron Boone, whose team loaded the bases with one out in the 10th but failed to score. “We’re a team that we want to put them [runners] out there, and more often than not, we’ll come through in those situations or at least come through every now and then.”
After Dellin Betances stranded runners at the corners in the top of the 10th, Didi Gregorius started the bottom half with a single against Jesse Biddle. Giancarlo Stanton struck out but Aaron Hicks, coming off a three-homer night Sunday, hit a ground-rule double to right, putting runners at second and third. An intentional walk to Miguel Andujar loaded the bases for Greg Bird, who struck out on three pitches and heard loud boos on his way back to the dugout. Austin Romine then struck out on four pitches.
Since getting activated from the disabled list on May 26, Bird is hitting .198 with a .308 on-base percentage. He is in a 4-for-29 slide.
“We just couldn’t get over the hump tonight,” Boone said. “Give them [Atlanta pitchers] credit. They got it done.”
Judge walked with two outs in the 11th against lefty A.J. Minter and went to second on defensive indifference, but Gregorius struck out to end it.
One-out doubles in the fourth by Markakis, Kurt Suzuki and Acuña gave the Braves a 3-2 lead. The Yankees loaded the bases with one out in the fifth but managed only one run on Gregorius’ sacrifice fly, which tied it at 3-3.
Atlanta righty Anibal Sanchez allowed three runs and six hits in six innings. Yankees rookie righty Jonathan Loaisiga, who took a no-hitter into the sixth inning of his previous start, wasn’t great. He allowed three runs and five hits, including the first homer he’s given up in the majors, in four innings.
Loaisiga was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after the game, though Boone said he likely will be recalled to start one of the games in Monday’s doubleheader in Baltimore.
Loaisiga has a 3.00 ERA in four big-league starts. That’s not too bad for a pitcher plucked straight from Double-A Trenton when Masahiro Tanaka went on the disabled list with strains in both hamstrings.
“I think I did a good job. I helped the team win two games,” he said through his translator. “It was a beautiful experience for me and a learning process. Now I just want to focus and try to get back as soon as possible.”