"We gave a couple of extra outs," said manager Joe Torre, "and we paid the price for it."
Perfect on defense while winning Game 1 and taking home-field advantage, New York gave, gave and gave again on Wednesday in a 5-3 loss to the Angels that sent the series across the country all tied up.
"It is what it is," said third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who made the most egregious error. "You've gotta move on."
What it was, at least defensively, was the opposite of Tuesday. Rookie second baseman Robinson Cano, who set the tone in Game 1 with a three-run double in the first inning, set a different kind of tone Wednesday when he dropped a perfect feed from shortstop Derek Jeter in the second inning, leaving runners at first and second with two outs.
"I just closed my glove before the ball got there," Cano admitted. "It was an easy play."
Fortunately for the Yankees, rookie right-hander Chien-Ming Wang got Steve Finley on a grounder to Cano to end the inning. But New York was far less fortunate in the sixth and seventh innings.
With the Yankees hanging on to a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth, Rodriguez dropped Orlando Cabrera's high leadoff chopper. Cabrera took third on a fielder's choice and scored the tying run on Bengie Molina's two-out single.
"We caught a break with that ball," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "I think the lights got Alex."
Alex thought otherwise.
"It was as routine a play as it can get, and it just didn't happen," Rodriguez copped. "It was a simple hop. Just a real bad play. I looked up, and when I looked down, I couldn't believe the ball wasn't in my glove. I don't know what happened."
An inning later, Wang hurt his own cause after fielding Finley's sacrifice bunt, which bounced high off the plate. Wang's hurried throw pulled Cano, who was covering first base, off the bag, and two batters later, Cabrera stroked a tie-breaking two-out single.
"That was a tougher play," Rodriguez said. "Mine was easy."
They were equally costly, though.
"We made a couple of mistakes. We didn't make the routine plays," Cano said. "We don't want to make mistakes, but we're human, and they did their job with runners on base."
"That's what happens when you make mistakes against a good team. They're going to take advantage of it," Jeter said. "It was a low-scoring game, and we gave them a couple of extra outs. That hurt us."
Defense wasn't the only problem for the Yankees in Game 2. They didn't hit with runners in scoring position for most of the night, and they barely hit at all in the middle innings, wasting a solid night by Wang.
But when asked to summarize the night, Rodriguez spoke of the spotty defensive effort first.
"They made the plays and we didn't," he said. "That was pretty much it."
Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.