One souvenir ball traveled 60 feet, the other traveled about 350.

The Yankees' youth class had a day of milestones Monday as 22-year-old lefty Jacob Lindgren recorded his first strikeout in his major-league debut and centerfielder Slade Heathcott, 24, hit his first major-league home run, a two-run shot to rightfield in the seventh that completed the scoring in the Yankees' 14-1 victory over the Royals.

"Is this real?" Heathcott said of the home run. "It's an awesome feeling. It's a blessing . . . [I've thought about it] ever since I was about 6."

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Heathcott went 2-for-5, making him 5-for-12 (.417) in his career. The Yankees retrieved the home run ball for him, he said.

Joe Girardi was pleased with how his youngsters performed.

"You want to see your young players come up and have success and feel like they're contributing and not put a ton of pressure on themselves," he said. "When Lindy came in, all the bullpen guys were sitting on the outside bench, watching and pulling for him, and that's what you want from your players."

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Even though he entered with a 14-1 lead, Lindgren's debut was noteworthy. Lindgren, who was drafted last June, became the first Yankee to make his debut within a year of being drafted since Deion Sanders did it after being selected in the 30th round in 1988, the team said. Told about the Sanders connection, he said: "That's pretty crazy. Maybe I should play football."

Lindgren came in with a runner on in the eighth, got Eric Hosmer to hit into a double play and closed out the inning with a walk and a lineout. He allowed no hits in two innings, struck out two and walked two.

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Carlos Beltran missed his second straight game with the flu. Beltran is riding a 13-game hitting streak that dates to May 8 and is hitting .301 this month after hitting only .162 in April . . . Girardi said Jacoby Ellsbury, who has been out since May 19 with a sprained left knee, "still is walking around in a brace every day and we have not progressed past that."