And then came a heart-stopping, game-saving play at the plate by Orioles reliever Mychal Givens, who took a desperation flip from catcher Caleb Joseph after throwing a wild pitch with Gregorius on third base and two out in the bottom of the 11th. Gregorius raced home, but Givens just managed to tag him out before he could score.

On the play, Givens actually fell and ended up blocking the plate as Gregorius tried to slide home, but the out call was upheld after a review by the umpires.

“I thought he did block the plate before he got the ball,’’ Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said of Givens. “But I understand it’s a difficult call to make. It just didn’t go our way.’’

If that wasn’t enough, Aaron Judge used every bit of his 6-foot 7-inch frame to rob Joseph of a home run in the 13th. As the teams played past midnight, the score remained stuck at 3-3, and the Yankees’ bullpen, which has struggled in the early part of the season, ended up pitching nine scoreless innings.

Photo

Aaron Judge reached to make a spectacular catch of a drive by Caleb Joseph in the 13th inning.

Credit
Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

But in the 14th, Johnathan Holder, the Yankees’ seventh reliever of the night, ran into trouble, and Alvarez’s blast put an end to the suspense.

Shortly before Alvarez homered, Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez had to leave the game with what the Yankees said may have been a leg cramp.

And yet all of this, and there was a lot, was overshadowed to an extent by the condition of Sabathia, who surrendered three long home runs while he was in the game (two of them by Manny Machado).

The results of the imaging exam were not immediately available after the game. But considering Sabathia’s age — he will turn 38 in July — the mileage on his pitching arm and the degenerative condition of his right knee, the Yankees are no doubt feeling uneasy about a pitcher who was one of the most reliable members of their 2017 starting rotation.

Sabathia’s problems on Friday began in the first inning, when Machado, who had yet to hit a home run this season, crushed a hanging slider into the second deck in left field to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead.

The Yankees got the run back in the bottom of the inning on Giancarlo Stanton’s broken-bat single that scored Brett Gardner from second, but Sabathia was victimized by Machado again in the third. This time, he drove a fastball clocked at 88 miles per hour over the left-center-field fence to make it 2-1.

Once again, the Yankees tied the game in the bottom of the inning, this time on an Aaron Judge single to center that scored Gardner, who led off the inning with a double. Then the Orioles’ Chris Davis, who like Machado had yet to hit a home run this season, belted another hanging slider from Sabathia into the right-field bleachers beyond the Yankees’ bullpen.

Although Sabathia finished that inning with a flourish, striking out Tim Beckham and Anthony Santander, he appeared to be limping slightly as he left the mound, and when the Yankees took the field for the top of the fifth, Sabathia had been replaced by Tommy Kahnle. He had thrown just 58 pitches.

Meanwhile, the Yankees squandered a scoring chance in the sixth when Stanton committed a baserunning gaffe, breaking for home on Neil Walker’s dribbler back to the mound with one out. Stanton was out after a rundown, a play that caused Showalter to declare the game under protest. He contended that Sanchez, who had advanced from first on the play and was occupying third base as Stanton ran past the bag trying to elude a tag, should have been called out, too.

When the next batter, Ronald Torreyes, grounded out to end the inning with no more runs scored, Showalter’s argument became a moot point.

Not so the loss of Sabathia on a night where nothing much went right for the Yankees.

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