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Andrew Heaney Bit By Home Run Ball in Yankees Debut

NEW YORK — Andrew Heaney's first inning in a Yankees uniform couldn't have been better. 

The left-hander retired the side in dominant fashion, striking out Orioles designated hitter Trey Mancini to cap off an efficient nine-pitch frame.

Unfortunately for Heaney and the Yankees, however, it was all downhill from there. 

The southpaw proceeded to surrender four solo home runs in the Bronx, chased from the ballgame after just four innings pitched. With New York unable to mount any sort of comeback on offense—held hitless through five frames—Baltimore was able to cruise to a 7-1 win.

Heaney was one of the many new faces brought in prior to last week's Trade Deadline that made their Yankee Stadium debut on Monday night. With two outs in the third inning after a strong start, Heaney's evening began to unravel. 

All-Star center fielder Cedric Mullins and outfielder Austin Hays went back-to-back, putting the lowly Orioles in front with two solo shots. One inning later, Ryan Mountcastle and Ramon Urias both went yard as well.

"I thought his stuff fell off a little bit there," Yankees manager Aaron Boone explained. "He was really crisp in the first inning. Really good life on the fastball, the secondary pitches were good. Second inning, more of the same. And then in that third inning, ends up I think it was two strikes with Mullins, where he just missed down and in with a fastball."

After coming over from the Cubs, Anthony Rizzo made Yankees history with his production on offense over his first few games with the Bombers. Heaney pitched his way into the franchise's history books as well, but for the wrong reasons. 

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With four home runs allowed, Heaney became the first pitcher ever to give up four-plus big flies in their Yankees debut.

"Usually I say solo homers don't beat you, but you give up four of them in four innings. that's probably going to do it." Heaney said. "It's just frustrating to put the team in a hole like that, not really give us a chance to win."

In the fifth, Boone called on left-hander Joely Rodríguez. Also making his debut in pinstripes, the reliever permitted two more runs to score across his two innings of work. Rodríguez was also acquired from the Rangers in last week's Joey Gallo deal. 

At that point, New York was down 6-1, unable to put up much of a fight on offense all night long. Orioles right-hander Jorge López held the Bombers hitless through five innings, earning the victory, his third of the season. The starter entered play with a 6.19 ERA, leading baseball with 12 losses.

Facing López and three other arms out of the bullpen, the Yankees finished Monday's loss 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position, mustering only three hits. 

Asked what it was like to pitch in a Yankees uniform, Heaney said, "It was great. I wish I could have done better." With Domingo Germán on the injured list—and Gerrit Cole testing positive for COVID-19—Heaney will have his chance. 

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