MILWAUKEE — Friday night in Milwaukee wasn’t the first time this season the Yankees have been burned in an extra-inning loss on the contact play.

Two weeks ago in Cleveland, pinch-runner Kevin Smith was thrown out at home plate in the 10th inning on a sharp ground ball to first base from Alex Verdugo. The Yankees had already scored two runs in that extra frame, but the third — Smith getting thrown out in what turned into an inning-ending double play — turned out to be the difference in a walk-off loss to the Guardians.

Jahmai Jones

Pinch-runner Jahmai Jones was thrown out by a mile at home plate in the top of the 11th inning. The Yankees lost on a walk-off in the bottom of the frame.AP



This time Jahmai Jones was used off the bench, replacing Anthony Rizzo as the Yankees’ automatic runner in the top of the 11th. He advanced to third with one man out and when Verdugo poked a two-strike jam shot back to Brewers left-hander Jared Koenig, Jones broke for the plate.

Koenig got the ball to catcher William Contreras before Jones had even made it the dirt circle surrounding home plate.

He was out by a mile.

And like the loss in Cleveland, not scoring that run led to a loss.

New Yankees reliever Michael Tonkin — who was picked up off waivers from the Mets on Thursday — gave up a walk-off single with one out in the bottom of the 11th.

That’s the easiest way to lose in extra innings these days. Fail to score with your automatic runner in the top of the inning and the other team will make you pay. They start their frame with someone on second as well, turning the game into a runners in scoring position showdown.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone was asked in his postgame presser about Jones’ decision to try and score on a 67.7-mph comebacker from Verdugo, a ball that was never going to be a hit off the bat.

Like his answer to a similar question about Smith getting mowed down at the plate a few weeks ago, Boone had no problem with it.

That’s just how it goes with the contact play.

“No, contact [play] you’re selling out,” Boone said. “You’re gonna be out on a lineout too because you gotta make it a 50-50 play.”

What Boone said next will enrage those that yelled at their screens when Jones was tagged out on Friday even more.

“Actually that play with it going to the mound there,” Boone said, “it probably gives you even a better chance because chances are a lot of pitchers aren’t going to handle that ball where they go like that. You don’t have the hindsight, you’re selling out on first step.”

On a one-hopper to the pitcher, the runner has a better chance?

In fairness, Boone does have a point there with pitchers making mistakes defensively. And cut Jones just a sliver of slack for how tough of a split-second decision that is when he’s being told to run on contact.

Koenig could’ve fumbled the chopper or booted it completely — no matter how easy it seemed to the naked eye — because of how rare that type of play is. The throw could’ve been errant, too. Certain relievers are dreadful at throwing to bases. That happened on a near-identical play in 2016 when ex-Yankees reliever Dellin Betances airmailed his routine throw home in a loss to the Dodgers.

That’s the whole purpose of the contact play. Make the defense beats you and take your chances with the ball in play rather than being conservative and hoping the next hitter gets the job done instead.

What Koenig did well in this case was stepping closer to home plate after making the stab to his glove side. With the play in front of him, that made the toss to Contreras even easier, and Jones was hung out to dry, embracing his fate without a slide.