Published November 20, 2014
After more than a week of winning, the New York Yankees came up a couple of feet short.
Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson were thrown out at the plate and the Yankees' 10-game winning streak ended Tuesday night with a 4-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves.
"None of the breaks kind of went our way tonight," Teixeira said.
The Yankees were trying to match their longest winning string in nearly a half-century. Instead, Chipper Jones and the Braves overcame some early bobbles and won for only the second time in nine games.
Jason Heyward singled home the go-ahead run in the sixth inning off Hiroki Kuroda (6-7). Heyward also tripled and scored, and nailed Teixeira at home with a strong throw from right field.
"I think I was trying to be too perfect," Kuroda said through a translator. "I really didn't want to give up that last run."
Rookie Andrelton Simmons drove in two runs and Jones delivered an RBI double for the slumping Braves.
Down by a run, the Yankees threatened in the seventh. Curtis Granderson opened with a single off Jonny Venters, Alex Rodriguez walked and the runners moved up on a groundout. Teixeira followed with a sharp grounder to Jones and Granderson broke home, but the third baseman made an accurate throw and catcher Brian McCann applied the tag. Raul Ibanez then struck out.
"We had some opportunities, we just kind of ran out of innings, I guess," Nick Swisher said.
The Yankees' recent run was built entirely against NL teams. Only once since 1965 had the Yankees won 11 in a row, and that was in 1985. The team's record winning streak was 19 in 1947.
"They pitched really well and had some really good defense. That's kind of what we've been doing," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Tim Hudson (5-3) labored through five innings and four relievers preserved the lead. Craig Kimbrel closed for his NL-leading 20th save.
"You still feel that you're going to find a way," Girardi said.
The Braves were hurt by missing mitts more than missing bats in the early innings.
In the second, center fielder Michael Bourn got twisted around trying to track down Swisher's deep drive. Bourn tapped his glove, then saw the ball glance off the tip as he ran into the padded wall on a two-run double. Swisher had missed the past two games with a bruised left quadriceps.
In the fourth, Ibanez hit a grounder that first baseman Freddie Freeman misplayed for an error. With two outs and two on, Jones let Russell Martin's low liner skip off his glove for an error that scored a run and made it 3-all. As the crowd cheered, the 40-year-old Jones looked down at the ground, took off his mitt and scuffed the dirt.
Jones grounded an RBI double in the top of the fourth, a day after the scuffling star said he needed to do more at the plate. Later in the inning, Simmons hit a bases-loaded single that scored a run, but Heyward was nailed at third base for the third out an instant before Jones slid home.
Heyward threw out Teixeira in the fifth. In the sixth, Heyward victimized Teixeira again, hitting a hard grounder that nailed the first baseman in the left foot for an RBI single with two outs that put Atlanta ahead 4-3.
"You are not going to win every game for the rest of the year," Martin noted.
NOTES: Ibanez doubled to end an 0-for-15 slide. ... Yankees starters have pitched at least six innings in 19 straight games. ... Yankees RHP Michael Pineda, out for the season with a tear in his shoulder, has been with the team for a few days. He hopes to resume throwing in September and aiming to ready for spring training next year. ... Yankees RHP David Aardsma struck out two and walked one in one inning of a Gulf Coast League game. It was the reliever's first outing since elbow-ligament replacement surgery last July. ... Rene Meulensteen, first team coach of soccer power Manchester United, watched the Yankees take batting practice. He recently gave a clinic in Kalamazoo, Mich., where Derek Jeter grew up. "Tall, runs well, good with the eyes. Might've been a good player in our sport," he said. Yankee Stadium will host a game between Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain on July 22.