Yankees bullpen gives up two big runs in loss to Jays

Without their usual power bats and veteran solid starting pitching this season, the Yankees have to walk a tightrope more often than they’d like.

Sunday, they fell off.

David Robertson and Dellin Betances, who have thrived in new roles this season, each gave up runs that cost the Yankees, who had rallied to tie the game three separate times, in a 5-4 loss to Toronto.

“I take this one tough because we did such a great job of coming back,” said Robertson, who gave up the winning run in the ninth on Dioner Navarro’s single with two outs that scored Jose Bautista from second.

Afterwards, he lamented a mental lapse even more than the decisive hit. It was Robertson’s lack of awareness that allowed Bautista to take a walking lead from first with two outs and steal second without a throw. He easily scored on Navarro’s hit that fell in short right.

“I wish I’d done a better job of holding Bautista on first,” said Robertson, who fell to 1-3. “I just let him slip from my memory there for a second and that’s all it took and he was on second. … To be honest, I didn’t think he’d really be going.”

Bautista’s move was no accident.

“I know that Robertson, unless he slide-steps, is a little bit slow to the plate,” Bautista said. “I just took a chance. … I had the easiest stolen base to get in scoring position early in the at-bat for Dioner.”

The Yankees couldn’t rally again in the ninth and lost for the second day in a row after beating the Blue Jays 17 straight times at The Stadium.

So a 10-game homestand came to a disappointing finish after the Yankees won four straight prior to the weekend losses.

“It’s a frustrating loss,” Joe Girardi said. “It’s a team we’re fighting with. We fought back a number of times and were never able to get the lead.”

A mistake from Betances in the eighth didn’t help.

The right-hander got out of a bases-loaded situation in the seventh, striking out Dan Johnson to end the inning, but then he started the eighth with a four-pitch walk to Colby Rasmus.

“That’s a spot you can’t go out there [and] walk the first guy,” Betances said. “I put myself in a tough situation.”

Things only got tougher when Betances got his back cleat caught on the dirt as he tried to make a pickoff throw to first and wound up throwing it wildly by Brian McCann for a two-base error, sending Rasmus to third with no outs.

Munenori Kawasaki scored Rasmus with a sacrifice fly.

“The throwing error is what killed him,” Girardi said. “It gave them a run. It was miscues that cost us in this series.”

While the Yankees rallied in the bottom of the inning, with Carlos Beltran knocking in Brett Gardner from second with a two-out single, they couldn’t do it again in the ninth.

Shane Greene gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings in the shortest of his four career starts.

Back-to-back homers by Chase Headley and Francisco Cervelli tied the game at 2-2 in the fifth. An infield single into the shift by McCann knotted the game at 3-3 an inning later.

Now the Yankees head to Texas to start a six-game trip against the Rangers and Red Sox following a 7-3 homestand they had hoped would be even better.

“We play a lot of tight games, but we’re winning a lot of them,” Robertson said. “Hopefully at some point, we’ll get some of those laugher games. Until then, we’ll keep grinding. We’ll take anything at this point.”


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