HOUSTON — There is an awful and constant smell drifting through the hallways in the bowels of Minute Maid Park on a nightly basis. Where it originates isn’t clear, but it is powerful enough to singe nose hairs.

Tuesday night that stench could have come off the Yankees’ uniforms, because their performance was easily the worst of the very young season.

Mentally and physically, the Yankees were awful and it resulted in a hard-to-look-at 6-3 loss to the Astros in front of 31,009. After taking advantage of the hapless Orioles, who they swept three from in Baltimore, the Yankees need a win Wednesday to avoid losing three straight to the Astros in the same building where they won three of four a year ago.

“Got to be better, especially when you are playing a really good team,’’ Aaron Boone said after his club dropped to 5-6 and fell 3½ lengths back of the Rays in the AL East. “When you are up against a really good pitcher you have to do the little things that allow you to win ballgames. Bottom line we are really close to playing a good brand and a complete game. We are just [having] a breakdown here and there that are really costing us.’’

There was more than one breakdown that cost the Yankees.

Left fielder Clint Frazier failed to make two diving catches on balls he admitted were catchable and led to a pair of Astros runs. Frazier also got in the way of Brett Gardner fielding a single in center field that caused an error.

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