MIAMI — With seven weeks left in the season, the New York Yankees are running out of time. They are in last place in the American League East, and even with the expanded wild-card postseason in place, the climb is getting steeper and steeper.
And Sunday didn’t help.
“The mountain gets bigger with every loss,” Holmes said. “We have to put together some wins and string them together and get some momentum going.”
New York (60-58) led 7-1 in the sixth inning behind ace Gerrit Cole but dropped five games back of the AL’s last wild-card berth and is on track to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
“Difficult way to end the series, but we’ve got to move on,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “We know we have to rack up wins, and as tough as this one is to swallow, you have to move on from it.”
The Yankees lost when leading by four runs in the ninth inning for the first time since July 11, 2021. New York is 3-8-1 in its past 12 series and has lost six straight rubber games of three-game series.
“We need victories, so anytime you lose, it’s tough,” Boone said. “But obviously, when you have the day in control for the most part, there were a lot of good things happening there, and credit to them for putting some really good at-bats together.”
“Losses like these,” he added, “they hurt.”
The loss ended a week that included a Boone ejection for arguing balls and strikes in a series against the Chicago White Sox. And on Sunday, plate umpire James Hoye ejected Yankees assistant hitting coach Brad Wilkerson in the eighth for arguing a called strike.
Burger, who had three hits, cut the deficit to 7-2 with an RBI single in the sixth off Cole. Wandy Peralta walked Josh Bell leading off the eighth, and Bryan De La Cruz hit an RBI double off Keynan Middleton.
Holmes (4-3), who had given up three runs in 35 games since May 6, allowed Yuli Gurriel‘s double leading off the ninth. Nick Fortes singled on a ball up the middle that rookie shortstop Anthony Volpe couldn’t come up with.
“Every game matters right now, every loss matters,” Holmes said. “Especially one like this. This definitely was a series that we needed to have.”
Jazz Chisholm Jr. walked and Bell hit a one-hopper that bounced off Holmes’ glove and went to the third-base side. The reliever gloved the ball and rushed a throw past first for an error as Gurriel and Fortes scored.
Luis Arraez, hitting a major-league-leading .367, grounded a triple down the right-field line for his third hit, tying the score 7-7.
“I’m facing a closer with nasty stuff,” Arraez said. “His pitches move but I’m always positive. I was looking for contact and thank God he hung me a sinker and I managed to hit it down the line.”
Kahnle relieved and walked De La Cruz, who advanced on defensive indifference. With Oswaldo Cabrera part of a five-man infield, Burger lined a single to left for his seventh hit in 12 at-bats during the series.
“I’m just thinking sac fly, something up,” Burger said. “Fortunately, I got something up and was able to drive it to left field.”
Burger and Bell were acquired at the trade deadline as the Marlins seek their first postseason berth over a 162-game schedule since their 2003 World Series championship run.
“The guys in this clubhouse have been awesome to us,” Burger said. “I’ve been talking about it literally since minute one. Stepping into this clubhouse I feel I’ve been part of the team. Kind of get emotional talking about that because it’s hard to find a group of guys like that.”
Combined with Washington’s 8-7 win over Oakland behind a six-run ninth, it was the first day with two comebacks from four-run-or-more deficits in the ninth inning or later since July 9, 2010.
Jorge Lopez (6-2) pitched a scoreless ninth to get the win before 35,043, the Marlins’ season high at home.
“These guys don’t stop believing,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. “It’s just a thing in the clubhouse, a thing in the dugout. The guys that we acquired they believe in it. There’s no stop.”
Cole gave up two runs and six hits in six innings for New York, which starts a series Monday at major-league-leading Atlanta.
Volpe and Ben Rortvedt homered for the Yankees. Volpe has a team-high nine homers with runners on base and 16 homers overall. Rortvedt’s homer was his first for New York.
Marlins starter Eury Perez gave up four runs and four hits in four innings.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.