Yankees come up small again as home wild-card lead down to one

MINNEAPOLIS — Welcome to rock bottom.

Not only did the Yankees drop two of three to the terrible Twins via a 3-1 loss Wednesday night, they came within five outs of being held without a hit by Jake Odorizzi.

If that didn’t cut to the marrow, the Yankees had to look at the A’s-Orioles score on the right-center field scoreboard and see the 10-0 Oakland victory that pulled the A’s one game back of the reeling Yankees in the chase for the top AL wild-card spot that comes with home field for the lose-and-go-home tilt on Oct. 3.

The Dead Bat Society accounted for just two hits and wasted Luis Severino’s best start in almost 10 weeks, as the right-hander allowed a run, four hits and fanned five in 5 ²/₃ innings in front of 24,134 at Target Field.

“He has inconsistencies in the second half, ups and downs,’’ Aaron Boone said before the game of Severino, who was 4-5 with a 6.83 ERA in his previous 11 starts and had given up 76 hits (13 homers) in 55 ¹/₃ innings. “I think it is important for him to go out and pitch well for him to re-establish himself as the ace of our staff.’’

Severino (17-8) hasn’t recouped the title of staff ace with one solid performance. Nevertheless, the fact he improved and didn’t have any problem working with catcher Gary Sanchez after their nightmare experience last week in Oakland is a plus, as the Yankees attempt to hold off the sizzling A’s who are 26-11 since Aug. 1. The Yankees have dropped nine of their past 16 games.

Leading 3-0 at the start of the eighth, Odorizzi struck out Sanchez, who went 0-for-2 and is fighting a 6-for-35 (.171) slump. A walk to Luke Voit accounted for just the Yankees’ third base runner (a walk and a fielder’s choice in the second) and he scored from first on Greg Bird’s opposite-field double to left-center, the Yankees’ first hit of the night.

Lefty Taylor Rogers replaced Odorizzi and struck out Gleyber Torres. Righty Trevor Hildenberger came in and fanned Andrew McCutchen to strand Bird at second.

In the ninth, Miguel Andujar’s one-out single to right off Hildenberger was followed by Giancarlo Stanton’s lineout to right and Didi Gregorius grounded out to end the game.

David Robertson stranded two in the sixth, but gave up two runs in the seventh that upped the Twins’ lead to 3-0.

Should the A’s and Yankees be tied at the end of the regular season, the team with the best record within its division gets the wild-card game at home. The Yankees are 34-26 against the AL East; the A’s are 33-34 versus the AL West.

Locked into a scoreless game against Odorizzi, Severino gave up a one-out, opposite-field single to left to Max Kepler in the sixth. Ehire Adrianza, the No. 9 hitter, laced a double down the left-field line that scored Kepler with the game’s first run.

Joe Mauer followed with a single to left that put runners at the corners for Jorge Polanco. Severino went to a full count and struck out Polanco on a check swing at a pitch high that sailed to the backstop. Adrianza didn’t move off third and Mauer took second.

Boone went to the mound, where he encountered Severino pleading to remain in the game, but Robertson surfaced from the bullpen to face Eddie Rosario, the Twins’ best hitter.

Robertson jumped ahead of the switch-hitting third baseman 0-2 and got him to bounce to the mound on a 1-2 pitch and strand two runners.

Odorizzi retired Torres, McCutchen and Aaron Hicks on fly balls to keep the no-hit bid going in the sixth. Torres chased former Yankees prospect Jake Cave to the warning track in center field for the first out. McCutchen flied to deep left and Hicks sent Cave to the warning track for the inning’s final out.

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