Hogg, a two-time Lion who featured in the victories over the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians and the Crusaders, suffered a facial bone fracture in the match in Christchurch last weekend.
Defeat stems the momentum once again.
There were positives. CJ Stander was huge despite this being his third game in a week, carrying relentlessly and smashing himself into the tackle time and time again.
But Liam Coltman's converted pushover score got the Highlanders back into it and in the end, a penalty from Marty Banks sealed the win.
Center Jonathan Joseph and winger Tommy Seymour scored earlier tries as the Lions were goaded by the Highlanders into producing some of their best attacking form on tour.
The Lions had one final chance to win it late on as Elliot Daly lined up a shot at goal from inside his own half with two minutes left, but his kick fell agonisingly short as the Lions fell to yet another defeat. Waisake Naholo was released by the All Blacks to face the Lions and grabbed a try in an assured performance.
The Lions now have concerns over lock Courtney Lawes, who went off in the first half with head knock. Lawes will go through the normal protocols with his fitness set to be assessed in the coming days.
The fact that Angus Gardner, Mathieu Raynal and Pascal Gauzere have shared refereeing responsibilities on this tour so far leaves a lot to be desired, given that they spend most of their time patting each over on the back over their radio communications, made available to those watching on TV as well as in the stadium.
Ill discipline also continues to haunt the Lions. You can not win Test matches with a count that high.
On the side's indiscipline, he told Sky Sports: "There was a string of four penalties in that second half when we were in decent territory, but we gave away four penalties in a row".
"We scored a couple of tries which was one of the work-ons for us this week", Warburton said.
"I look to those two penalties against Dan Cole, and I think the first one's a penalty to us, the loosehead has gone down", said Gatland. "For the neutrals, it was a good game".
"The big lesson is that New Zealand sides keep playing for 80 minutes", Gatland said, harking back to the last-gasp nature of their other tour loss, to the Blues a week ago.
The second viewing showed Alun Wyn Jones doing exactly what he needed to do to make a hole for Warburton.
This tour has swung back and forth already, now Gatland's first-choice outfit is charged once again with getting it back on track. It promises to be some occasion.
Joseph and Jared Payne nearly wriggled free, before Iain Henderson punched through the middle and Warburton stretched home for a good try.