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Aaron Boone Stands By Andrew Heaney After Another Clunker, Loss to Orioles

NEW YORK — Even a promotional video on the Jumbotron, blasting across Yankee Stadium, couldn't drown out the boos. 

Coming in from New York's bullpen—a unit pillaged by injuries of late—left-hander Andrew Heaney was tasked with holding a three-run lead against the lowly Orioles in the top of the seventh.

Heaney's mid-leverage appearance didn't go according to plan, though. He hit the first batter he faced, allowing back-to-back singles before a double from Baltimore's second baseman Jahmai Jones brought home two runs. 

Moments later, after recording an out on a pop fly, Heaney served up another run-scoring base knock, this time an RBI single off the bat of ex-Yankees prospect Jorge Mateo.

When bench coach Carlos Mendoza strolled out of the dugout to make a pitching change—Yankees manager Aaron Boone had already been ejected at this point in the afternoon—boos rained down on Heaney as hard as they have during his entire tenure in pinstripes. That's saying something too, considering the left-hander has struggled mightily since coming over from the Angels prior to the trade deadline.

Another run came across shortly after Heaney exited—an RBI single off Wandy Peralta—giving the southpaw four earned runs on the day as Baltimore took the lead. That increased his ERA in a Yankees uniform to 7.62. 

In other words, Heaney has given up 24 earned runs in 28.1 innings with the Bombers, surrendering 10 home runs along the way as well.

Even with those dreadful numbers, Boone seemed to stand by the southpaw after the game, a frustrating 8-7 loss.

"I thought today actually coming out of the pen his stuff probably played up a little bit. He was the victim of some soft contact but in the end, just couldn't get out of the inning," Boone said. "He's going to have to step up."

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Some of the hits off Heaney were bloopers, and the double from Jones was nearly caught by Giancarlo Stanton in right field, but based on Heaney's track record, there isn't much success to hold onto or count on.

To give the 30-year-old some credit, when he's been on his game, he's been brilliant. His two wins with the Yankees have been solid starts, including a gem against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, where Heaney was serenaded with cheers after seven innings of one-run ball.

Andrew Heaney Wins Over Yankee Stadium Crowd With Dominant Performance

Boone went on to mention that Heaney wants the baseball and will need to take advantage of his next opportunity when he gets it—seemingly implying that he will have another opportunity at some point.

Perhaps New York wouldn't keep the veteran around in another circumstance, but after losing Zack Britton for the season and placing Jonathan Loáisiga on the injured list Sunday (where Luis Severino, Domingo Germán, Michael King and more already reside), this pitching staff needs all the help it can get.

That said, there could be changes coming on the horizon. New York is expected to bring prospect Luis Gil back to the Bronx from Triple-A this week and Boone mentioned another prospect, Clarke Schmidt, as a possible call-up this month.

Sounds like Heaney will have another chance, but there are certainly other options waiting in the wings should the lefty's season continue to spiral.

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