Yankees relief pitcher Manny Banuelos delivers against the Tigers during...

Yankees relief pitcher Manny Banuelos delivers against the Tigers during the ninth inning of an MLB game at Yankee Stadium on June 3. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

CLEVELAND — One of the feel-good stories of this 2022 Yankees season ended Sunday when they sent lefthander Manny Banuelos to the Pirates for cash considerations.

The Yankees, who designated Banuelos for assignment last Tuesday, made the announcement just before the start of Sunday’s 2-0 loss to the Guardians.

In one of those coincidences the baseball season always seems to provide, the Yankees may get a look at Banuelos as an opposing pitcher as they start a two-game series Tuesday night in Pittsburgh.

Banuelos, though seeing limited action this season (a 2.16 ERA in four appearances), nonetheless fulfilled what he described since spring  training as his “lifelong dream,” which was pitching in pinstripes at the Stadium.

The one-time top pitching prospect who dazzled his teammates as a 19-year-old in spring training 2011 — among those raving about Banuelos was Mariano Rivera — soon saw his career  derailed by injuries. He made his big-league debut in 2015 with Atlanta and bounced around after that, battling injuries along the way. But after showing he was healthy in consecutive summers pitching in Taiwan and then this past winter in his native Mexico, Banuelos signed a minor-league deal in January with the Yankees, the only team he ever wanted to play for. The 31-year-old, drafted by the Yankees in 2008, finally appeared on the Stadium mound on June 3 in a 13-0 victory over the Tigers, throwing two scoreless innings at the end.

Afterward, Banuelos was “shocked” that it was he — not Gerrit Cole, who took a perfect game into the eighth inning — who was awarded the  championship belt that is presented to the star of the game after every victory.

“I was not,” Banuelos said, still glowing days later, “expecting that.”

Banuelos’ teammates were very much aware of what the night meant to him.

“That,” Cole said of Banuelos’ outing, “was the coolest part of the night.”

Marinaccio to the IL

Late Saturday night, after the doubleheader sweep of the Guardians, the Yankees put righty Ron Marinaccio on the injured list with right shoulder inflammation.

“Instead of just pushing through this right now and have this be a lingering issue, just felt like it was best to give him these few days and try to keep him as strong and as fresh as possible throughout the season,” Aaron Boone said before Sunday’s game.  

Lefty JP Sears was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take Marinaccio’s spot on the roster. Boone said Sears, who made the club out of spring training with expanded rosters, could be used “in a number of different roles,” anything from spot starter to long relief to a matchup guy in the right high-leverage circumstance. Sears was charged with one run and allowed three hits in 2 2/3 innings Sunday. Entering Sunday, he hadn't allowed a run in 12 2/3 innings, but Albert Abreu allowed the runner he inherited from Sears to score in the eighth. 

Lo still a go

Jonathan Loaisiga, on the IL since May 25 with right shoulder inflammation, came through his first live batting-practice session  Saturday at the club’s minor-league complex in Tampa just fine. “I heard he threw the ball really well, which would be in line with what we’ve been seeing in his bullpens and stuff,” Boone said. “He looks really good.”

Loaisiga will throw another live BP session Tuesday in Tampa and “then we’ll see from there,” Boone said.

He added later: “We would probably want him to get at least a few” rehab games before activating him, which would put Loaisiga roughly in the range of two to three weeks for his return, assuming no setbacks.

On the road again

After Sunday's game, the Yankees bused to Pittsburgh, which is about a two-hour drive from downtown Cleveland. 

Extra bases

The Yankees, who were held hitless by the Astros on June 25 and limited to one hit through seven innings on June 26, were held to one hit on Sunday.

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