Boone tossed again as Yanks drop tight rubber match

May 26th, 2023

NEW YORK -- The growing number next to Aaron Boone’s ejection log has become a source of concern for the Yankees' manager, who grumbles each time he must pay a fine to the league. The oft-replayed highlights of showdowns with umpires, while largely entertaining, clash with his even-tempered demeanor at home. He has told his children to “do as I say, not as I do.”

Yet, for the fourth time this season, Boone found himself barricaded in an office to watch his team. Ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the third inning, the skipper tracked the action via television as the Yankees fell to the Orioles, 3-1, at Yankee Stadium.

“I thought there were some issues, big time, the first couple of innings,” Boone said. “I don’t think I was warranted to get thrown out, by any means.”

Boone griped early and often about close pitches not being called strikes by home-plate umpire Edwin Moscoso, which the Yankees believed was partially responsible for starter ’s 29-pitch first inning. Moscoso made it clear that he had no interest in hearing from Boone after the top of the third, when several of Schmidt’s pitches could have gone either way.

“It seemed like there were some crucial ones early on that ran up the pitch count,” Schmidt said.

Pleading his case to crew chief Chris Guccione, saying that there were “four strikes” called balls, Boone then returned to say more to Moscoso. Dabs of saliva from Boone’s mouth appeared to touch Moscoso’s cheek; a first-year full-time umpire, Moscoso walked away. Boone said he hopes that errant spittle would not warrant a suspension.

“The dismissive attitude and walking away, I took exception to,” Boone said.

Schmidt, who limited Baltimore to an Anthony Santander run-scoring single over five innings, said he and the rest of the Yanks appreciate Boone’s support. The skipper has been ejected three times in the last 10 days (also May 15 at Toronto and Sunday at Cincinnati), and his 30 career ejections are the most in the Majors since 2018.

“I made an emphasis to thank him,” Schmidt said. “We’re going to war out there as ballplayers. We’re fighting tooth and nail out there. And to see your manager out there fighting tooth and nail for you as well, it’s a good feeling. I know he’s always going to have our backs, and you saw that tonight.”

Boone’s early exit failed to inspire the Bombers’ bats, however, which went quiet after producing 12 runs in the first two games of the series.

Orioles veteran Kyle Gibson limited New York to a pair of singles over seven strong innings. Gleyber Torres led off the game with a hit and Willie Calhoun added one in the seventh off the righty, who had been 0-5 with a 6.25 ERA in his last eight starts against the Yankees.

“He did a really good job with just mixing different parts of the zone with multiple pitches,” Harrison Bader said. “When the guy is kind of working outside of where you might be looking in a particular at-bat, he's difficult to square up. There were a lot of balls just off the barrel, kind of lofted out there.”

On a night that featured two errors charged on dropped throws to Yankees pitchers, the O’s tacked on runs in the eighth. Wandy Peralta issued a pair of walks and yielded to Clay Holmes, who left a sinker up that Austin Hays pounded off the right-field wall for a two-run double.

Calhoun kept the Yanks’ hopes alive in the ninth with a two-out RBI double off Yennier Cano, who recovered to retire Anthony Volpe on a flyout.

The Yanks have lost a series for the first time since May 5-7, when the Rays took two of three games at Tropicana Field. Since then, they had gone 3-0-1 in series against the Athletics, Rays, Blue Jays and Reds.

“Got to go back to the drawing board. We’ve got work to do tomorrow,” Bader said. “We’ve got a task at hand with a new team coming in here, so let’s shift the energy and play our brand of baseball. I’m just excited to go out there and do it tomorrow.”