A robust rally ventured to the stadium Monday night for the chance to see some long balls from the Yankees’ two popular new left-handed hitters.
The most intense excitement of the evening for the home crowd of nearly 29,000 came late in the eighth inning, when the unbalanced match was delayed by several minutes as the field team attempted to lock up a cat. elusive wandering the warning track, prompting the fans to sing “MVP” and “Let’s Go Cat”.
It was the height of joyful moments, however, as imported southpaw Andrew Heaney became the first pitcher in Yankees history to allow four or more home runs on his team debut in a lackluster 7-1 loss to AL’s worst Orioles to open a seven-game home stand.
The Yankees (56-49) had won five of their previous six on the road in a weekend sweep in Miami, but they only managed two hits and went 0 for 11 with runners in position. goal scorer against Baltimore starter Jorge Lopez – who came in with a 2-12 record and 6.19 ERA – and three relievers in the stadium debut of the late acquisitions of Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo.
Ahead of the game, manager Aaron Boone claimed he was “excited” to watch Heaney, who was 6-7 with a 5.42 ERA in 18 starts this season with the Angels before coming to a deadline agreement for two minor league pitchers.
“We think we have a really good pitcher, a guy who we think is a guy who can really give us quality innings,” said Boone. “We get the feeling you’re looking at his peripherals this year, and they’re probably a lot better than even his ERA suggests. But we think we have a really good pitcher and I can’t wait to see him come out and make his first start for us and hope this homestand starts off on the right foot.
Heaney followed that script on a perfect first inning, eliciting huge cheers as he left the mound following a strikeout from No.3 batter Trey Mancini. Heaney scored another zero despite a brace from Ryan Mountcastle in the second, but Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays pushed him deep for back-to-back homers a set later for a 2-0 lead in Baltimore.
Lopez cut Rizzo with a throw and walked Gallo in the first, but Giancarlo Stanton bounced back in the third to end the inning. Lopez also walked two in the second, but DJ LeMahieu – starting for the first time since Thursday with a triceps problem – took second place to end that threat.
Heaney gave up two more solo homers in the fourth, with Mountcastle and Ramon Urias both leading him deep to the left for a 4-0 hole. It was the first time Heaney had allowed four homers in a single start since August 2017, also against Baltimore.
“At the end of the day, it comes down to things that we think we can potentially help him with, with his pitch sequencing and if there are any delivery things to address. We think he’s a guy who can really pitch and has a chance to be a really good starter for us, ”Boone said of Heaney. “We’re so glad we got to have it and add it to the mix. Obviously as we move into these last few months adding that kind of depth of a guy capable of giving quality innings is huge. “
Heaney was replaced with Joely Rodriguez, who was acquired from Rangers with Gallo, to start fifth. The left-handed reliever allowed two more points to score in the sixth on sacrificial flies from Pedro Severino and Maikel Franco for a 6-1 game.
The Yankees had a run without hitting a fifth in the game on goals from Gleyber Torres and Brett Gardner and a bag stolen from foul territory by Rizzo. It was the former Cub’s fourth RBI in four games since the trade. Gallo’s starting double in the sixth was the first hit of the night for the Yankees.