The Yankees have had no problem keeping their opponents within one run lately.
It's finding a way to make up that deficit that's been the problem.
For the sixth time in their past eight losses, the Yanks fell by a single run on Monday night, as they lost to the Orioles 5-4 at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees are just 3-8 over their last 11 games, and each of those losses has been by two runs or fewer.
"One-run ball games are real tough to swallow," third baseman Eric Chavez said. "But we just have to figure out a way to start swinging the bats more consistently and we'll be OK."
The Yankees' slide started July 19 against Oakland, when they lost 4-3. They were eventually swept by the Athletics, losing all four games by one run apiece. The team's gone 3-4 since that sweep, but has lost close games, including the last two by a single run.
Before this stretch of six one-run losses, the Yankees had been 13-9 in such situations. Manager Joe Girardi seemed to look at the positive, in that the team has had a chance to win all these games, and hopes that the team's penchant for tight games will lead to some better luck.
"I think you'd be more concerned if you were getting pounded. We've had a chance to win a lot of those 11 games," Girardi said. "You get yourself in enough of those opportunities you're going to start to win and I think we're playing pretty good, decent baseball. We're pitching well, we've just been in a lot of those types of games."
Chavez, who walked in the ninth inning with the tying run at second, said he believes the lack of offensive consistency is a combination of good pitching and the batters not having their best at-bats. He credited the last two nights' starters, Baltimore's Miguel Gonzalez and Boston's Felix Doubront, but also said the offense is sputtering a little bit right now.
In the past 11 games, the Yankees have scored 43 runs. In their eight losses, they've scored just 24 runs. The team had scored 37 runs in their first six games after the All-Star break before it started to struggle in Oakland.
"We're not playing good," Chavez said. "Just try to come back tomorrow and win a ballgame."
In their last two losses, the Yankees had chances in the later innings to win each time, but ultimately could not come away with the big hit. On Monday, trailing 5-4, they stranded a leadoff double in the ninth, failing to find that one hit that would have tied or won the game and given them a chance for a dramatic home win.
That's just the way it's gone for the Bronx Bombers lately.
"That's part of the game," Monday's losing starter Freddy Garcia said. "We hit a lot, sometimes we don't hit and we didn't hit today. It happens. We're going to continue to play every day hard and do it right."