Yankees manager Aaron Boone watches from next to the dugout...

Yankees manager Aaron Boone watches from next to the dugout in the sixth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers, Fla., Saturday, March 9, 2024. Credit: AP/Gerald Herbert

TAMPA, Fla. — Aaron Boone has taken full advantage during the last few days of an MLB spring training rule that allows managers to take out the starting pitcher in a long inning and bring him back for the following inning.

Boone did it with Nestor Cortes during the Twins’ four-run second inning on Saturday and again on Sunday, when Clarke Schmidt labored through a 27-pitch first inning in which he  recorded only two outs.

After being replaced by a reliever to finish the half-inning, Cortes and Schmidt came back out for the next one and were able to get in their work in games that don’t mean anything.

“I love the idea,” Boone said after the Yankees came back from Atlanta’s four-run first inning to score a 9-8 victory. “I like this, especially as you’re building pitchers up. It just makes a ton of sense.”

Schmidt ended up going 2 2/3 innings and pitching scoreless ball after the first. Cortes went 3 1/3 and gave up six runs and nine hits in his outing.

If the out-and-in option hadn’t been available, Boone would have had to have stretched out his starters for more pitches per inning than he’d want to at this time of year.

“I would have given [Schmidt] another hitter in that inning,” Boone said. “But you don’t want to have a guy as they’re building up have a 30-plus [pitch] inning. You get worried about that even in the regular season. So I think this is an excellent rule.”

Extra bases

The Yankees had lost five in a row . . . Oswaldo Cabrera, who had been 1-for-23 coming in, went 3-for-3 and played shortstop . . . Second baseman Jorbit Vivas made his first appearance at shortstop, playing the last four innings at the position. No balls were hit to him . . . The Yankees had 17 hits, including two each by Juan Soto, Oscar Gonzalez, Gleyber Torres, Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Trevino. Soto hit his fourth home run in seven games, has driven in 10 runs and has a .500/.550/1.278 slash line.

More Yankees headlines

ONE-DAY SALE26¢ for 5 6 months