Manny Machado’s two-homer night sinks struggling Yankees

BALTIMORE — The best the Yankees can do Wednesday night is split a four-game series with the worst team in baseball.

In order for that to happen, they need to make sure Manny Machado, who is on the Yankees’ radar, doesn’t repeat his two-homer performance of Tuesday night, which helped the woeful Orioles top the Yankees, 6-5, in front of a sweaty Camden Yards crowd of 18,418 that was well aware the visitors have an interest in acquiring Machado.

The Orioles won the first game of Monday’s doubleheader, lost the nightcap and erased a two-run lead in the seventh inning Tuesday night when Machado, who had gone deep in the fifth, homered off Chad Green to tie the score, 5-5.

Dellin Betances started the home ninth by hitting Caleb Joseph, the No. 9 hitter, with a 2-2 pitch. With one out, Adam Jones doubled into the right-field corner and with runners at second and third, Machado was walked intentionally.

With the infield in, Betances struck out Mark Trumbo and appeared to have gotten out of it when Jonathan Schoop hit a hard grounder at first baseman Greg Bird, but the ball glanced off Bird’s glove and Joseph scored the winning run.

The Yankees, who are 9-9 in their past 18 games, fell 3 ½ lengths back of the AL East-leading Red Sox. It’s the Yankees’ largest deficit since they were four out on April 26.

Bird not fielding the game-winning hit ruined his four-RBI night, which included a three-run homer.

Didi Gregorius’ third hit was a leadoff single off Zach Britton in the ninth inning. Britton fanned Miguel Andujar and bounced a pitch to Bird that Joseph blocked. Gregorius bolted for second, but Joseph’s throw was perfect and Gregorius was called out. The Yankees challenged, but the call was upheld. Britton struck out Bird to give the Orioles a chance to win it in the ninth against Betances.

Handed a 5-3 lead to start the home seventh, Green entered his second inning of work and retired Tim Beckham leading off, before Jones’ single to center. Green went to a full count on Machado and watched him loft a fly ball to right field that tipped Aaron Judge’s glove and hit the wall.

Initially it was not ruled a homer, but after a 49-second review it was reversed and Machado’s second home run of the game tied the score.

Bird’s sacrifice fly off lefty Miguel Castro scored Gregorius from second in the seventh to snap a 3-3 tie and match the first baseman’s career high for runs driven in with four.

Masahiro Tanaka, making his first start since suffering hamstring strains on June 8, gave up three runs and six hits over 4 ¹/₃ innings.

“I expect him to pitch well for us,’’ Aaron Boone said of Tanaka beforehand. “I think he goes out there in a good place.’’

Tanaka’s first pitch of the fifth inning was to Machado, and he sent it to the back part of the left-field seats to tie the score, 3-3. It was the 17th homer allowed by Tanaka in 14 starts. When Trumbo lined out to Gregorius, Tanaka’s night was finished and Jonathan Holder took over.

Andrew Cashner handled the Yankees through four perfect innings, which wasn’t a surprise, since the right-hander entered the game having held the Yankees to a 2.25 ERA in five career games.

The dominance didn’t flow into the fifth inning, when Gregorius stopped the streak of the first 13 Yankees making an out with a single to left. Andujar walked and Bird turned a 96-mph fastball into a three-run homer above the right-field scoreboard that erased a 2-0 deficit.

Tanaka retired the first two Orioles in the fourth before Chris Davis singled to right and Trey Mancini walked. Joey Rickard ripped a ground ball inside the third base bag that went for a two-run double and a 2-0 O’s lead.

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