ARLINGTON, Texas — It took more than a quarter of the Yankees’ schedule to see Aaron Boone can wear a frown.
From the day Boone was named Joe Girardi’s replacement, he has flashed a smile and accentuated the positive no matter the subject. Lately, with the Yankees turning into the best team in baseball, it has been easy for Boone to smile.
Nevertheless, after being ejected by plate umpire Pat Hoberg in the sixth inning of a 6-4 loss to the woeful Rangers on Tuesday night in front of 30,325 at Globe Life Park, Boone sat at his desk with a stern look on his mug.
“At different points in the night I raised some things and I guess he had heard enough,’’ Boone said of Hoberg handing him the first ejection of his brief big-league managing gig. “Nothing more than that.’’
With Gary Sanchez at the plate, Boone popped out of the dugout and even the worst lip reader in the world could see he used some salty language to let Hoberg know he was displeased.
Because the Yankees were trailing, 5-1, and getting smothered by lefty Cole Hamels, Boone was asked if he was attempting to fire up his club.
“No, it wasn’t much different than any other game. It was just I was upset with something that went on with the [Aaron] Hicks at-bat,’’ Boone said of his leadoff hitter having not entered the batter’s box before Hamels delivered a pitch that Hoberg allowed. “A few things over the course of the night that just built up to where I guess he had heard enough.’’
After drawing a walk during the at-bat in which Boone was ejected, Sanchez left the game with a cramp in his right leg and was replaced by Austin Romine, whose two-run homer in the eighth cut the deficit to 6-4. That was as close as the Yankees got, because the early ditch starter Domingo German put them in was too deep to escape.
The loss, combined with the Red Sox beating the Rays, dropped the Yankees, who have won 22-of-27, a half-length back of their blood rivals in the AL East.
German (0-2), who was working on nine days’ rest because of scheduled days off for the team and rainouts, gave up a three-run homer to Jurickson Profar in the first inning and uncorked three wild pitches in the second that helped the Rangers score twice. Ronald Guzman added a solo homer off German in the fourth.
“Definitely not, I don’t think that is the reason,’’ said German, who allowed six runs, four hits , walked three, hit a batter and fanned six, when asked if the extended layoff affected him. It was the second straight start he has given six runs. “It is one of those things, they aren’t going your way. That’s part of pitching in the big leagues.’’
The 34-year-old Hamels (3-4) has been in the big leagues since 2006 and was pitching on 10 days’ rest because of neck stiffness that wasn’t an issue Tuesday. In seven innings the lefty limited the Yankees to two runs (homers by Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar) and four hits.
“I saw a lot of changeups and fastballs away and cutters in, sliders in,’’ Hicks said. “He was effective. He is still Cole Hamels and a good pitcher.’’
And one who will be on the trading block long before the July 31 deadline. By then, and possibly before, the Yankees figure to be in the market for a starter so expect Hamels and the Yankees to be linked. One drawback is that he makes $20.5 million on the final leg of his guaranteed contract. Even for just two months that might be too rich for the Yankees unless the Rangers absorb some of the cash.
Yet, German is filling in for Jordan Montgomery whose return date from a strained left elbow isn’t known but it is unlikely the Yankees will allow a young arm to work through any problems at this point.
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