Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees looks at the ball after...

Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees looks at the ball after surrendering two runs in the sixth inning against the White Sox at Yankee Stadium on Monday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

The Yankees were probably tired after playing a day-night doubleheader on Saturday and a Sunday night game in Baltimore before starting a seven-game homestand against the White Sox on Monday night. That’s understandable.

But manager Aaron Boone was not pleased about what he called “sluggish” play in a 6-2 loss before 41,456 at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees managed only three hits and committed three errors, including two in an ugly top of the ninth inning that Boone used a mild expletive to describe.

“[Bad] ninth inning there where we just didn’t play well,” Boone said. “Overall, I didn’t think we caught the ball well . . . All and all, we didn’t play a very clean brand of baseball tonight.”

That the Yankees lost to the White Sox (52-79) illustrates how hard it will be to catch the Red Sox in the AL East. The Yankees, who had gained 4 1/2 games in the division in eight days, need to beat the bottom-feeding teams. Instead, the Yankees saw their four-game winning streak end and fell to 6½ games behind the idle Red Sox.

Gleyber Torres staked Masahiro Tanaka to a 2-0 lead with a 444-foot two-run home run to center in the fourth off Chicago starter Carlos Rodon. It was the rookie Torres’ 20th home run.

But Tanaka (9-5) allowed three runs in the sixth and one in the seventh as Chicago took a 4-2 lead. The White Sox scored two runs in the ninth against A.J. Cole in an inning that featured two errors and a run-scoring wild pitch.

Oh, and the Yankees went went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position with a lineup that included Luke Voit batting cleanup and a 7-8-9 of Kyle Higashioka, Ronald Torreyes and Shane Robinson.

“Just a little sluggish tonight,” Boone said. “Did not play our best game.”

Tanaka had wiggled out of a bases-loaded, nobody-out jam in the top of the fourth to keep the game scoreless.

But Tanaka couldn’t get out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the sixth. The trouble started when Daniel Palka hit a broken-bat dribbler down the third-base line for a single. Matt Davidson walked and Omar Narvaez hit a nearly identical checked-swing dribbler down the third-base line. Tanaka fielded this one, but fired high to first as the White Sox catcher was safe with a single.

Yoan Moncada followed with a two-run double to right-center to tie the game at 2. Nicky Delmonico hit a sacrifice fly to left to give the White Sox a 3-2 lead.

The White Sox scored another run in the seventh when Yolmer Sanchez singled, moved to second on an error by leftfielder Robinson and scored on a double by Tim Anderson.

Tanaka allowed four runs and 10 hits with one walk, one hit batter and struck out seven in seven innings.

The Yankees failed to score in the seventh after Rondon walked the first two batters and fell behind Higashioka 3-and-1. Higashioka, who entered the game batting .190, swung at the 3-and-1 pitch and fouled out to the catcher. Torreyes then grounded into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.

Rodon (6-3) was charged with two runs in seven innings.

Chicago made it 6-2 in the ninth – the inning that really seemed to stick in Boone’s craw. Adam Engel led off with a single and moved to second when Cole threw wild on a pickoff throw to first for an error. Engel moved to third on a groundout, which forced the Yankees to bring the infield in. Anderson hit a chopper to Voit, who booted it for a run-scoring error as Anderson took second.

Anderson stole third without a throw, which forced the Yankees to bring the infield in again. Cole struck out Avisail Garcia, but the ball got by Higashioka for a wild pitch. Anderson scored to make it 6-2 and Garcia reached first.

“I’m frustrated that we didn’t play our best and that’s frustrating,” Boone said. “We’ve got to get on with it. In a tough stretch right now. We’ve got to get some rest, turn the page and . . . go out and get after it and we will.”

More Yankees headlines

Newsday LogoCovering LI news as it happensDigital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months