The most action the Yankees got around home plate Thursday was the few minutes Aaron Boone spent near there while arguing his ejection in the third inning.
The rest of the night, it might as well have been a black hole for Boone’s hitters.
The Yankees mustered just three hits and narrowly avoided a shutout before scoring in the ninth inning, but still fell to Kyle Gibson and two Orioles relievers in a 3-1 loss in The Bronx.
With the lifeless offensive performance, the Yankees dropped the rubber game against the division rival Orioles to slow some of the momentum they had come home with from their strong road trip last week.
Gibson, the veteran right-hander who entered the night with a 6.75 ERA in 10 career starts against the Yankees, tossed seven shutout innings before turning it over to the bullpen.
The Yankees got to Yennier Cano in the ninth, when Aaron Judge walked and later scored on a two-out double from Willie Calhoun.
But the rally ended there, with Anthony Volpe flying out to finish the game.
After giving up a leadoff single to Gleyber Torres in the first inning, Gibson went on to retire 17 of the next 21 batters — the only four batters who reached doing so on walks — until Calhoun singled to lead off the seventh.
Before the ninth inning, Harrison Bader was the only Yankee to reach second base, with two outs in the fourth inning.
Clarke Schmidt, in his first start since a sticky-stuff scare last Friday in Cincinnati, turned in a solid outing, giving up just one run over five innings on a season-high-tying 97 pitches.
Limiting an Orioles lineup that had gotten to Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes over the first two games of the series, Schmidt has now given up two runs or fewer in four of his last five starts.
The Orioles later added a pair of runs in the eighth inning off Wandy Peralta and Clay Holmes.
Peralta walked two batters before Holmes entered and gave up a double off the top of the right-field wall to Austin Hays that made it 3-0 Baltimore.
Schmidt loaded the bases in the top of the first inning after getting two quick outs.
Volpe misplayed a ground ball up the middle and Schmidt walked the next two batters before escaping without allowing a run, though he needed 29 pitches to do so.
In the third inning, Schmidt flirted with trouble again when he allowed a pair of two-out singles before getting Gunnar Henderson to line out and end the threat.
In between innings, home plate umpire Edwin Moscoso ejected Boone for arguing about his strike zone from the dugout.
Boone then jumped out to get his money’s worth, getting heated with Moscoso and appearing to tell him that he called four pitches balls that should have been strikes.
The Yankees manager was physically restrained by crew chief Chris Guccione and bench coach Carlos Mendoza multiple times before finally leaving the field.
The Orioles took the lead in the fifth inning off Schmidt.
Adam Frazier poked a weak double down the left-field line and then with two outs, Anthony Santander drove him in with a hard single past a diving Anthony Rizzo for the 1-0 lead.