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.
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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).