NEW YORK — The New York Yankees’ 7-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night was not the kind of baseball game any manager would want to take home with him.
And before he could do that, he had to deal with all the problems created by Friday’s loss, such as filling new holes in the roster, coming up with a plan for his depleted bullpen and trying not to get frazzled by the fact that the next game, on Saturday afternoon, was 12 hours away.
“We had so much going on here, I never went home,” said Boone, who has been a major league manager for all of nine games and is learning on the job very quickly.
Boone did say that he was able to get a good night’s sleep at Yankee Stadium. And by the time he sent the Yankees back out onto the field Saturday afternoon, the team had placed C.C. Sabathia, who had a hip injury, on the disabled list; done the same with third baseman Brandon Drury, who had a migraine and blurred vision; greeted two pitchers who were promoted from Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Luis Cessa and Domingo German); and welcomed Jace Peterson, also just up from the minors, by putting him into the lineup as his starting left fielder.
The result was a Yankees team that had the look and feel of a spring training squad.
In addition to starting Peterson, Boone put Miguel Andujar, a veteran of eight big-league games, at third base in place of Drury; put Tyler Austin, an outfielder by trade, at first; moved Austin Romine, the backup catcher, behind the plate in place of Gary Sanchez, who was sidelined by a leg cramp late in Friday’s game; and installed Ronald Torreyes, the 5-foot 8-inch, 155-pound utility man, at second in place of the flu-ridden Tyler Wade.
Add to that the unavailability of relievers Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Chad Green and Tommy Kahnle — all of whom pitched in Friday’s marathon — and Saturday’s game had all the elements of a thoroughly unpleasant afternoon for the Yankees.
Which is exactly what did not occur. Instead, this watered-down version of the Yankees romped to an 8-3 victory over the Orioles.
“Over the course of a 162-game season, every team is going to go through their share of times when it’s tough,” Boone said after the victory. “You’ve got to be able to weather the storm through those times. I’m really proud of the guys today, for all that went on last night, to come out and grind the way they did.”
The last four hitters in the Yankees’ lineup — Andujar, Peterson, Romine and Torreyes — accounted for six of the team’s 11 hits and three of its runs. Torreyes had three hits, scored twice and, for good measure, made a fine diving stop to rob the Orioles’ Trey Mancini of a hit.
Andujar snapped an 0-for-12 skid with a hit that ignited a two-run second inning, and Peterson might have changed the entire complexion of the game with a running-into-the-wall catch to rob Pedro Alvarez, who hit the deciding grand slam on Friday, of a potential two-run double.
Austin chimed in with a two-run single. Aaron Judge had a run-scoring double. And Brett Gardner, at 34 the oldest position player on the team, reached base in all five of his at-bats, driving in the Yankees’ first two runs with a second-inning single.
“That’s a veteran player that we’re riding pretty hard right now,” Boone said of Gardner, who has been forced to return to center field, a position he hasn’t played regularly since 2013, because of injuries to Aaron Hicks and Jacoby Ellsbury. “He had a long night last night, and to come out the way he came out, day game after a night game, and just absolutely get after it, that’s one of the guys you want leading your club.”
Boone did not have to dip into his weary bullpen until the seventh inning, having gotten six serviceable innings out of starter Sonny Gray, who allowed three runs and four hits.
Adam Warren, the first man out of the bullpen, got into trouble quickly, but David Robertson, who pitched a clean, 10-pitch eighth inning Friday night, came in to strike out Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop, stranding the potential tying runs for Baltimore at second and third. Robertson and Cessa then retired the last six Orioles, striking out four of them.
“It’d be easy to show up today and be dragging and not have a whole lot of energy,” Gardner said. “We did a good job of turning the page and trying to forget about last night. Overall, I thought it was a good day for us.”
One that Boone could even bring home with him.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.