Randy Vásquez strikes six in Yankees debut

NEW YORK — Randy Vásquez allowed himself a few extra beats to savor the scene as he roamed the Yankee Stadium outfield at length early Friday night, feeling the energy of a sold-out crowd. It was the first Major League game he’d ever attended, and it would start when he stepped on the mound.

Promoted from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to replace while Domingo Germán completes his suspension, Vásquez, 24, played competently on his debut against a stacked Padres lineup, receiving little support as the bats Yankees were held back in a 5-1 loss.

“Coming out and warming up, getting ready for the start, I took a moment and looked around,” Vásquez said through an interpreter. “You can see how majestic Yankee Stadium is. There were so many thoughts running through my mind at the time. I thanked God for this opportunity and my family, who helped me so much to get here.

Juan Soto admired a long, two-run fifth-inning home run into the second deck from right field by Vásquez, who is ranked as the No. 12 prospect in the Yankees organization by MLB Pipeline.

“It was great to face those guys,” Vásquez said. “You understand the players they are, and at the same time you’re competing against those guys in that moment.”

Along with his grandfather, uncles and cousins ​​among a festive gathering of 46,724 who arrived at the gates of summer to embrace the start of a holiday weekend, Vásquez scattered four hits in 4 2/3 innings, walking three and striking out six in an 84-pitch effort. .

“I said to him after the game, ‘It’s on us like an offense, not giving you a few points when you’re up against a lineup like that,'” Yankees captain Aaron Judge said. “You hold them aimlessly for a while and then Soto does his thing and gets two. I was excited to see it; we have a lot of young prospects coming up that we are going to see over the next couple of years.

Vásquez, who was picked for Triple-A after the game, is the 12th Yankee in the past 16 seasons (since 2008) to make his debut as a starting pitcher. Before Jhony Brito on April 2 of this season, the most recent examples were Luis Gil (2021) and Deivi García (2020).

“We’ve been following this kid since last year, when he was in Double-A,” said Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza, who served as interim manager on Friday. “We saw him a bit in spring training. It’s not easy to come here for the first time, watch a major league game and face a very good team. Overall, I think he handled the situation very well.

“I found out about an hour before the game. As soon as we finished batting practice, Boonie called me at the office and told me about it,” Mendoza said. “Honestly, I was a little surprised. I didn’t know all the details. I was just told that I managed.

The Yanks were limited to six hits in 6 1/3 innings by Padres starter Joe Musgrove, with the only run the right-hander allowed coming on a pitch by Anthony Rizzo in the sixth inning. The Bombers have been held to just one point each of the past two nights, having scored at least six points in four of their previous five games.

“It’s just about capitalizing when we get shots over the plate, not trying to stretch too much,” said Judge, who extended his scoring streak to 13 games with a sixth-inning brace. “Stay in our zone, stay in our lanes. When we do that, we are a good attack. When we grow a little and miss our mistakes, it’s hard to beat [teams]especially with the pitching staff they have there.

Fernando Tatis Jr. homered two runs into the second deck from left field off Ron Marinaccio in the sixth inning, prompting loud boos (and cheers from out of town).

With twists and turns once he returned to his position, Tatis Jr. also embraced comments from fans in the right-field seats, many of which referenced the 80-game suspension for enhancing drug use. the performances he received last August.

“I think he was locked up; he was ready to go,” the judge said. “He was able to sit on a pitch there and drive it when they needed it. That’s the difference. »

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