Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees couldn’t wait to get back home.

gettyimages 1046917854 Out At Home: Yankees Eliminated By Rival Red Sox In ALDS

BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 06: Aaron Judge #99 (C) and Gleyber Torres #25 of the New York Yankees celebrate as teammate Didi Gregorius #18 looks on after their 6-2 win in Game Two of the American League Division Series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on October 6, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Yankees defeated the Red Boston Red Sox 6-2. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

Now, that’s exactly where they’re staying.

CC Sabathia became the latest pitcher to put New York in an early hole as rookie manager Aaron Boone again stuck with his starter too long, and the Yankees fell just short of extending their season Tuesday night with a 4-3 loss to the rival Boston Red Sox in Game 4 of their AL Division Series.

gettyimages 1052830098 Out At Home: Yankees Eliminated By Rival Red Sox In ALDS

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 09: Brett Gardner #11 of the New York Yankees hits a sac fly to score Gary Sanchez #24 against Rick Porcello #22 of the Boston Red Sox during the fifth inning in Game Four of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 09, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

“That’s the one team that you don’t want to lose to,” outfielder Brett Gardner said. “We hate losing to them and we love beating them. Obviously, they just had our number this year.”

New York mounted a last-ditch rally against wild closer Craig Kimbrel, scoring twice in the ninth inning . But the Yankees’ comeback stalled when Gary Sanchez’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly was caught on the left-field warning track , and rookie Gleyber Torres grounded out with two on to end it — sort of.

gettyimages 1052890070 Out At Home: Yankees Eliminated By Rival Red Sox In ALDS

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 09: Eduardo Nunez #36 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates after defeating the New York Yankees in Game Four to win the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 09, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The play at first base was close, so both teams and a sellout crowd held their breath during a dramatic replay review before the out call was upheld following a 63-second delay. Kimbrel and the Red Sox — suspended in mid-celebration for a minute — resumed bouncing around in excitement.

gettyimages 823185156 Out At Home: Yankees Eliminated By Rival Red Sox In ALDS

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 26: David Robertson #30 of the New York Yankees delivers a pitch in the ninth inning against the Cincinnati Reds on July 26, 2017 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

“We played a really hard season, we managed to win 100 games and then we get to this point and we just can’t finish off a series against the Red Sox. It’s tough,” reliever David Robertson said.

Asked about his long fly, Sanchez said through a translator: “I wasn’t sure about it. I hit it well, but I got under it.”

After beating Oakland in the AL wild-card game, it was a humbling playoff exit for a power-packed Yankees team that added reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton last offseason and hit a major league-record 267 home runs.

With the stakes at their highest, however, the Yankees never left the yard in two home games versus Boston. They were outscored 20-4 as the AL East champs took the best-of-five series 3-1 and advanced to the ALCS against defending World Series champion Houston.

“I didn’t expect to come here and lose two in a row. I expected to come back here and win two in a row,” Gardner said.

gettyimages 865189798 Out At Home: Yankees Eliminated By Rival Red Sox In ALDS

HOUSTON, TEXAS – OCTOBER 21: in Game Seven of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 21, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)The Houston Astros celebrate after defeating the New York Yankees by a score of 4-0 to win Game Seven of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 21, 2017 in Houston, Texas. The Houston Astros advance to face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.

Last year, it was the Yankees who reached the AL Championship Series before their surprising run ended with a Game 7 loss to the Astros.

This time, a 2018 season that began with sky-high expectations — now over in bitter disappointment.

While the Red Sox got strong starts from Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi and Rick Porcello during the series, Yankees starters were charged with 15 runs over 13 innings in four games. Masahiro Tanaka was the only one to get an out in the fourth.

gettyimages 1052697404 Out At Home: Yankees Eliminated By Rival Red Sox In ALDS

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 09: Rick Porcello #22 of the Boston Red Sox throws a pitch against the New York Yankees during the first inning in Game Four of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 09, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

“They just had a lot of stuff going right. We’re very equal teams,” Sabathia insisted. “The ball just bounced their way.”

gettyimages 1052757452 Out At Home: Yankees Eliminated By Rival Red Sox In ALDS

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 09: CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees walks back to the dugout after giving up three runs in the third inning against the Boston Red Sox during Game Four American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 09, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Adding to the humiliation, the Red Sox got to revel in a second champagne celebration at Yankee Stadium in less than three weeks.

Boston also clinched its third consecutive division crown on enemy ground Sept. 20.

“They got momentum on their side and never really slowed down,” Robertson said.

So while the Red Sox roll on seeking their fourth World Series title in 15 years, the Yankees own but one pennant and championship during that span (2009).

On deck, a long winter of wondering how they’ve fallen behind in a rivalry they dominated for nearly a century.

All that changed in 2004, when Mariano Rivera was finally unable to close out the pesky Red Sox and they rallied for an unprecedented comeback from a 3-0 deficit to win the ALCS. Boston took Games 6 and 7 at Yankee Stadium on the way to its first World Series championship in 86 years.

This was the first playoff meeting between the clubs since then, and the Red Sox once again made themselves right at home in the Bronx. After splitting two games at Fenway Park, they quieted the Yankees’ boisterous crowd — and their dangerous bats. New York hadn’t gone consecutive games at Yankee Stadium without a home run since April.

gettyimages 10515378081 Out At Home: Yankees Eliminated By Rival Red Sox In ALDS

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 08: Aaron Boone #17 of the New York Yankees pulls Luis Severino #40 against the Boston Red Sox during the fourth inning in Game Three of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 08, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

“Definitely frustrating,” Boone said. “I think one of their goals in this series was to keep us in the ballpark, and then coming here where we’re so good at that, they were able to do it. Credit to them for being able to hold us down and shut us down, but in the end, you don’t move on usually when you can’t get enough big hits in a series, and they just outplayed us a little bit.”

Before the last two games, New York was 7-0 at home over the past two postseasons.

gettyimages 1046864578 Out At Home: Yankees Eliminated By Rival Red Sox In ALDS

BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 06: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees celebrates his solo home run as he rounds third base during the first inning of Game Two of the American League Division Series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on October 6, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

Confident players were excited about returning to the Big Apple, and Judge even walked past Boston’s clubhouse inside Fenway Park early Sunday morning with Frank Sinatra’s rendition of “New York, New York” blaring from a boom box.

“It’s a good song. And Aaron, he’s one of our resident deejays, so he’s got a pretty extensive playlist,” Boone said later that day at Yankee Stadium, a smirk filling his face. “We like to hear that song sometimes when we win a big game.”

That was the last time they did.

Boston’s 16-1 blowout Monday marked the most lopsided defeat for a home team in postseason history, and shortstop Didi Gregorius called it “an embarrassing day.”

Boone acknowledged some regret in allowing ace Luis Severino to start the fourth inning down 3-0. Severino was removed with the bases loaded and nobody out, but relievers Lance Lynn and Chad Green quickly let the game get out of hand.

The next night, after 1978 Boston nemesis Bucky Dent threw out the first pitch , Boone stayed with Sabathia even when the 38-year-old lefty, pitching on 11 days’ rest, ran into trouble in the third . By the time the inning was over, the Red Sox had a 3-0 lead they never relinquished.

“I was fine with the way CC was throwing the ball,” Boone said. “I think it was a sound decision.”

gettyimages 1052766868 Out At Home: Yankees Eliminated By Rival Red Sox In ALDS

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 09: Christian Vazquez #7 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates with third base coach Carlos Febles #52 of the Boston Red Sox after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning against the New York Yankees during Game Four American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 09, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Zach Britton gave up an opposite-field homer to No. 9 batter Christian Vazquez in the fourth, and New York never fully recovered.

“They’ve got a great team over there. They won 108 games,” Judge said. “They’re one of the most potent offenses in the game and it was a battle back and forth.”

© 2018 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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