A night after resembling the pre-trade deadline Yankees, the upgraded version offered a proper introduction to Yankee Stadium.
Coming off a dismal loss and the news of two starting pitchers testing positive for COVID-19, the Yankees dusted themselves off and enjoyed a laugher, crushing the Orioles 13-1 on Tuesday night in The Bronx.
Led by two-hit nights from DJ LeMahieu, Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres — after the entire lineup mustered just three total hits Monday — the offense exploded for a season-high in runs on 15 hits to provide Luis Gil plenty of cushion in his impressive MLB debut.
The 23-year-old Gil, called up earlier on Tuesday to start for the COVID-19-positive Gerrit Cole, hardly needed all the support, firing six shutout innings for a strong first impression. The right-hander gave up just four singles and a walk while striking out six on 88 pitches.
“To have Luis come up for the first time and really shine and embrace the moment, it was much-needed,” manager Aaron Boone said. “Through all this adversity that comes our way, it does create opportunities for other people to step up and contribute. We got some meaningful contributions from the guys that came up today.”
The Yankees (57-49) won for the sixth time in eight games — and 16 out of 24 — including a 4-1 mark since adding a trade-deadline haul headlined by Rizzo and Joey Gallo.
Tuesday was a rare blowout for the Yankees, keyed by a five-run third inning in which they knocked out Orioles starter Alexander Wells.
“It’s really having a great approach against a starter and trying to get him out early,” said Stanton, who went 2-for-5 with four RBIs, including a three-run homer in the fourth. “You get him out before five [innings], then the bullpen’s going to have a tough time containing us the rest of the way.”
On a day when they learned Jordan Montgomery would join Cole on the COVID-19 injured list, putting a dent in their rotation as they chase a playoff spot, the Yankees got nine innings from a trio of pitchers who were still in Triple-A on Monday night. Stephen Ridings and Brody Koerner joined Gil in making their MLB debuts Tuesday, with Ridings striking out three and Koerner tossing two innings to close out the win.
The Yankees gave Gil a lead to work with in the second inning on an RBI double by Torres before piling on in the third.
Greg Allen got the rally started when he was hit by a pitch and came around to score on LeMahieu’s double to the gap. Rizzo came up next and continued to produce in his new uniform, lining a single up the middle. LeMahieu stopped at third but Cedric Mullins’ throw from center field hit second base, bouncing away to allow LeMahieu to score for the 3-0 lead.
After Aaron Judge singled, Stanton lined another single up the middle to plate Rizzo. Sanchez then roped a double to left field to make it 5-0 and chase Wells from the game.
Torres capped off the big inning with a sacrifice fly, which put the Yankees ahead 6-0.
After the Orioles scratched across a run in the top of the eighth off Koerner, the Yankees finished off the blowout with four runs in the bottom half. Tyler Wade ripped a two-run double, Rizzo grounded out to notch an RBI in his fifth straight game as a Yankee and Judge hit a solo homer.
“Just everyone having good at-bats up and down the order,” Boone said. “Then we were able to add on a little bit, which was nice to see. We haven’t had a lot of those lopsided games this year. It’s nice to have one of those guys.”