Pedro Alvarez may have provided the Yankees some strange mercy with his 14th-inning grand slam.
At the rate things were going, a few more innings could have left New York without enough players to keep playing anyway.
Alvarez hit a grand slam, Manny Machado homered twice and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Yankees 7-3 on Friday night after New York saw four players forced to make early exits.
Yankees starter CC Sabathia left with hip soreness, star catcher Gary Sanchez limped off with a leg cramp right before Alvarez struck, third baseman Brandon Drury was lifted for migraines and second baseman Tyler Wade was removed because of flu-like symptoms. New York had to use 20 players in all — reliever Adam Warren was the only non-starting pitcher left.
“It’s one of those when you exert everyone and you’re losing guys like that, yeah, it hurts when you lose,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
Alvarez connected after midnight, deciding a game that took 5 hours, 20 minutes and included 14 pitchers, a couple of wild misadventures on the basepaths and an admitted missed call by umpires.
There also were two stellar defensive plays. The Orioles nailed the possible winning run at the plate in the 11th, then Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge robbed Caleb Joseph of a home run in the 13th.
Baltimore loaded the bases against Jonathan Holder (0-1) in the 14th on a walk by Trey Mancini, a single by Machado — his sixth time on base — and a throwing error by third baseman Ronald Torreyes on Jonathan Schoop’s sacrifice bunt try.
After Adam Jones struck out looking, Alvarez drove a no-doubter to right-center. It was the third career grand slam for Alvarez, and his first since June 30, 2012, while with Pittsburgh. Alvarez grew up in Upper Manhattan and went to Horace Mann School, about five miles from Yankee Stadium.
“It’s hard,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of the long night. “That’s why it’s the big leagues. Things are hard up here.”
New York nearly won it in the 11th. With Didi Gregorius at third, right-hander Mychal Givens threw a breaking pitch to the backstop, enticing Gregorius to break for home. Joseph chased after the wild pitch, and the catcher fielded the ball on a big hop and made a backhanded flip it to Givens. The pitcher slid across home plate as he took the feed to block Gregorius and applied the tag.
A video review upheld the call — just one play after a Yankees video challenge overturned what was initially ruled an inning-ending double play hit by Torreyes.
It was nearly another big moment in a superb week for Gregorius. He had a tying solo homer in the eighth inning off Miguel Castro that made Friday’s freaky extra innings possible.
There were chances aplenty after that:
— Baltimore had runners at the corners in the 10th, but Chad Green struck out Colby Rasmus to end the inning.
— Givens struck out Brett Gardner, Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in order in the 10th, but then needed Joseph’s alert play to escape the 11th.
— Baltimore loaded the bases against Chasen Shreve in the 12th, but the left-hander also struck out Rasmus to end that jam.
— Judge jumped at the wall and took away a homer from Joseph for the final out of the 13th — in nearly the exact spot where he robbed Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor in Game 3 of last year’s AL Division Series. Judge led off with a walk in the bottom of the inning and stole second, but was stranded by the heart of New York’s order by rookie Pedro Araujo (1-1).
All of that buried a breakout show by Machado, who homered in his first two at-bats for his first RBIs this season en route to four hits and two walks. Machado had gone without an RBI in his first seven games this year, matching 2014 for his longest career stretch without one to start a season.
Chris Davis also hit his first homer of the year for Baltimore, which had just six homers in seven games coming in.
Sabathia allowed the shots to Machado and Davis before exiting and being sent for an MRI, which came back clean.
The 37-year-old threw 58 pitches over four innings. He said he began to feel tight warming up for the third inning, and it continued to get worse.
“It was a little nerve wracking but having the MRI come back clean is a good thing,” Sabathia said.
Sanchez said the cramp happened all at once. He spoke with a doctor and will “wait and see how I feel tomorrow.”
I DON’T KNOW AT THIRD
Crew chief Jerry Meals said umpires incorrectly ruled on a disputed rundown at third base that went New York’s way in the sixth inning.
Neil Walker hit a dribbler to pitcher Richard Bleier, and he caught Stanton in a rundown between third and home. Sanchez ran from first to third while Stanton was hung up, and Joseph eventually chased Stanton back to third as well.
When Stanton ran through the base and gave himself up, Joseph first tagged Sanchez, then chased down Stanton, thinking he’d turned a double play.
Third base umpire Ron Kulpa only called out Stanton, though, and after the umpires conferred, the call stood. Showalter gave it a long argument, but to no avail.
Turns out, he had a point.
“We were incorrect,” Meals said.
Meals said when Stanton ran past third base, Sanchez should have been ruled to have passed the lead runner — an automatic out for Sanchez.
“Then Stanton had the right to come back and touch third before being tagged or be called out for abandoning his effort,” Meals said.
Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman walked two in the ninth and was visited by pitching coach Larry Rothschild and a trainer separately. On the next pitch after sending the trainer and Boone away, Chapman struck out Mancini with a slider to end a two-runner jam.
“”We think he’s fine,” Boone said.
Orioles: Mark Trumbo (right quad strain) homered in an extended spring training game and will play games Saturday and Monday before Baltimore re-evaluates his status. … RHP Alex Cobb will pitch in extended Monday and could join Baltimore after that. Cobb signed with the Orioles on March 21 and is still building up.
Yankees: OF Aaron Hicks (strained ribcage) will play Sunday and Monday with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and Boone hopes to have him with New York by the middle of next week. … OF Jacoby Ellsbury was in New York to see a hip specialist. Ellsbury’s recovery from an oblique issue was put on hold this week by pain in his left hip.
Yankees RHP Sonny Gray (0-0, 2.25 ERA) face Orioles RHP Chris Tillman (0-1, 9.00) in a game scheduled to start 12 1/2 hours after Friday’s ended.
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