Yankees starter Ivan Nova allowed five runs in another shaky outing and New York failed to wrap up home field for the AL wild-card game, losing 9-2 to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday in the opener of a split-doubleheader.
New York (87-73) can still ensure Tuesday's one-game playoff takes place at Yankee Stadium with a win in the second game against the Orioles or a loss by Houston (85-75), which plays at Arizona later Saturday.
Baltimore's Gerardo Parra had four hits and three RBI. Manny Machado had his 34th home run, off Nova (6-11), and also drove in three runs, and J.J. Hardy had three hits for the Orioles.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he would split his regulars between the first and second game. Center fielder Brett Gardner was the only lefty that faced the left-handed starter Wei-Yin Chen (11-8).