Despite the fact that Dellin Betances gave up what proved to be the game-winning home run Thursday, Aaron Boone said he likes what he’s seeing from his beleaguered reliever and believes that a return to form is imminent.
“The stuff’s excellent,” Boone said Friday, a day after Betances allowed a short-porch homer to J.D. Martinez in the eighth inning of Boston’s 5-4 victory over the Yankees. “The command has been very good. He’s had a couple of tough results and I would throw last night right in there. He threw the ball great. He gave up a little fly ball home run to right. He came in and started out with Mookie Betts and went seven hitters through the Red Sox lineup and frankly, kinda dominated them, and an inside-out swing on a ball off the plate that [turned into] a Yankee Stadium home run.”
Betances, who was untouchable at points last season, has gotten off to a less-than-desirable start and entered Friday with a 5.63 ERA and a 1-2 record in 15 appearances. He had struck out 30 in 16 innings but also had allowed four home runs and 18 hits, totals that are high for him.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s so close to being the dominant pitcher we’ve seen throughout his career, and I think he understands that,” Boone said. “He knows his delivery is in a good place, his stuff is there; the results will follow.”
Fowler returns EMBED1
Dustin Fowler finally got his hit.
The former Yankee, who suffered a devastating knee injury in the first inning of his major-league debut last year before even getting an at-bat, collected his first major-league hit Friday against the player he was traded for: Sonny Gray.
After hearing applause from Yankees fans before his first at-bat Friday, a strikeout in the second inning, A’s outfielder Fowler, 23, lined a single to right in the fourth in his third major-league at-bat. Gray wound up throwing the ball into the Oakland dugout to give him a souvenir.
Due to lead off the top of the second inning in his Yankees debut last June 29, Fowler was denied that at-bat when he ran into an exposed metal box at full speed while chasing a two-out foul ball and suffered a gruesome knee injury. He underwent surgery for an open rupture of his right patella tendon the next day. Fowler was traded to the A’s a month later along with two other prospects.
Boone said Tommy Kahnle (shoulder) could return to the Yankees toward the end of their next road trip, which begins Tuesday in Washington and ends May 23 against the Rangers . . . Despite two off days next week, Boone said he doesn’t expect to change the rotation.