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Lynn aces Yanks debut with shutout relief

Righty works 4 1/3 scoreless innings behind shaky Gray
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Just a few hours after stepping into his new clubhouse for the first time, right-hander Lance Lynn made his Yankees debut after starter Sonny Gray ran into early trouble in Wednesday's 7-5 loss against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium.

Prior to Lynn's arrival, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said the addition of the right-hander gave the club flexibility to use him as a long reliever or as a sixth starter. Against Baltimore, Lynn got his first crack at his new bullpen role, permitting five hits over 4 1/3 scoreless innings after Gray was pulled with two outs in the third. After Gray had yet another rough outing, Boone may be considering giving Lynn a shot in the starting rotation.

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NEW YORK -- Just a few hours after stepping into his new clubhouse for the first time, right-hander Lance Lynn made his Yankees debut after starter Sonny Gray ran into early trouble in Wednesday's 7-5 loss against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium.

Prior to Lynn's arrival, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said the addition of the right-hander gave the club flexibility to use him as a long reliever or as a sixth starter. Against Baltimore, Lynn got his first crack at his new bullpen role, permitting five hits over 4 1/3 scoreless innings after Gray was pulled with two outs in the third. After Gray had yet another rough outing, Boone may be considering giving Lynn a shot in the starting rotation.

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"That's something that we'll talk about now in the days ahead about what our plans will be going forward," Boone said. "We do have some options now, so we will all get together and try and come up with the best solution, the best options going forward that are going to help us win in the end. That's what it's about. We're not going to be emotional about this now. We will get together and talk about this and see what the best thing is."

Video: BAL@NYY: Yankees react to 7-5 loss to Orioles

The Yankees' early plan with Lynn, ideally, was to have the pitcher work multiple innings when he comes on in relief to keep him stretched out, which is exactly what happened in his first appearance.

"I was just mixing it up," Lynn said. "It was the first time I met everybody, and I was trying to figure out on the fly how to use my pitches and kind of go. It worked well. ... You just want to come in and make a good impression. But when it's all said and done, it's a team game and today we came out not what we wanted to, and we have to get back after it tomorrow."

Although he has been a Major League starter since 2012, Lynn said that it doesn't matter to him whether he takes Gray's spot in the rotation or continues to work out of the bullpen.

"My whole career has been when they tell me to pitch, I go pitch," Lynn said. "I try not to think about anything except getting whatever hitter is in the box out. If I do that, I'll be fine. I know what I'm capable of and what I've done in the past and from here on, when my name is called, I'm going to go pitch wherever that may be."

J.A. Happ was diagnosed with a mild case of hand, foot and mouth disease on Tuesday and woke up on Wednesday feeling a little better, according to Boone. However, the team will not know for sure whether Happ will be healthy enough to make his scheduled start in Boston on Saturday for at least another 24 hours, although Boone said he's "optimistic" that Happ will be ready to go.

Boone had said that Lynn may be an option if Happ is unable to make his start. However, after throwing 71 pitches against the Orioles, Lynn will most likely not be used until Sunday. This would mean Luis Cessa would get the start in place of Happ, if needed.

"Certainly the next two days [Lynn] would be down, but we'll see where we're at," Boone said. "I don't know if he would become an option in the 'pen on Sunday, but those are all things that we will work through and obviously see how he's feeling and how he's able to bounce back."

This date in Yankees history
Aug. 1, 1937: In a 14-5 victory over the St. Louis Browns, Lou Gehrig hit for the cycle for the second time in his career.

Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.

New York Yankees, Lance Lynn