NEW YORK — The Pirates suffered arguably their most crushing loss of the 2022 season on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. They had an 8-4 lead late in the ninth inning, but Wil Crowe failed to register an out, as the Bucs lost to the Yankees, 9-8, on a Giancarlo Stanton grand slam . Pittsburgh’s losing streak has increased to five games.

Since the All-Star break, Crowe has been inconsistent, allowing 15 runs and 11 walks in 22 innings. But manager Derek Shelton let Crowe into the game with a significant lead. The Yankees, however, showed their patience and didn’t bite on Crowe’s sliders and shifts. Suddenly, the Yanks hitters were ahead in the count.

It started with Aaron Judge, who is having one of the best offensive seasons in MLB history. He took the lead, 3-1. Crowe swore he wasn’t going to walk him, so he threw a pitch right into the strike zone, and Judge smoked the ball into the left field bleachers for his 60th home run of the season. No big deal, thought Crowe. The Pirates were still up, 8-5.

“I was just going to chase him there. We have the head. I threw a bad mid-mid shot. It did what it was supposed to do with it,” Crowe said. “I was trying to attack him. It fired some good bottom-up sliders.

“I felt like I wanted to chase after him. He’s the best hitter in baseball right now. But for me, I can’t put him. I have to go after him. I was trying to make my pitch, but it was right in the middle.

After the judge’s homer, Crowe thought he had made some good pitches, but the Yankees kept reaching for base. Anthony Rizzo followed Judge and doubled to left center field before Gleyber Torres walked to put the runners up for first and second. Josh Donaldson then sent a ball into right field for a hit to load the bases.

“I thought I made a good pitch to Donaldson. That’s just the way the game goes sometimes,” Crowe said. “Sometimes you have to take your licks and keep going. That’s not the Biggest feeling right now. I ruined the game for the guys. It would have been nice to win tonight. But I’ll learn from it. I’m taking what I can and moving forward.”

Stanton came to the plate with New York down three and the goals turned into a 2-2 change for a grand slam to end the game and hand Crowe his 10th loss of the season.

“I threw him some good sliders early on,” Crowe said. “…I thought I was in a good position to start my change there. I think I just left it in place a bit. It was the right ground, the wrong place.

After the game, Shelton said he didn’t mind a solo homer, but he didn’t like that Crowe couldn’t locate his pitches.

“You can’t walk a guy. We have to run throws,” Shelton said. “You can’t leave the ball in the middle of the plate. It’s one of the best formations in baseball. We left the ball in the middle of the plate. Because of that, we ended up paying for it.

Crowe’s performance spoiled a great outing by right-hander Luis Ortiz, who threw five solid innings, allowed one earned run and struck out five batters. Ortiz, the No. 30 prospect in the Pirates organization according to MLB Pipeline, not only held the judge to no hits in three plate appearances, but he confused Yankees batters with his fastball and slider.

“He executed throws. It was a positive sign,” Shelton said. “There aren’t many stages bigger than [New York]especially with the situation [the Yankees are in] and what Judge does. I was really happy with the way Ortiz threw the ball.

It was Ortiz’s second start of his career, and he wasn’t busy thinking about Judge’s historic run or Yankees strengths.

“I don’t try to focus too much on who I’m facing, what names they have on the back of their shirts. All I focus on is… sticking to the plan,” Ortiz said through interpreter Mike Gonzalez “It’s something I’ve practiced and developed throughout my career. To be honest, I’m the one with the ball. The game doesn’t don’t start until I drop that ball. That’s my mindset.”