BALTIMORE — Matt Holliday called it “one of those days,” though not one he had previously in a 14-year career.
He drew a career-high five walks — in five plate appearances — in the Yankees’ 7-3 victory over the Orioles on Sunday, nearly half of the 11 issued by six pitchers.
Holliday said “it can be” frustrating to not see a lot of strikes but added that he felt good with his approach.
“I took some good pitches,” he said. “I was waiting for a pitch to drive and it felt like I really honed in on what I was looking to hit, and when it didn’t show up, I didn’t swing. I think it’s a good sign. Not chasing and waiting for your pitch is something that I think as hitters is your goal.”
Holliday started the go-ahead rally in the four-run ninth against Darren O’Day with a walk, eventually scoring the tiebreaking run on Starlin Castro’s single.
The DH, signed to a one-year, $13-million deal in the offseason, will don the pinstripes for the first time Monday afternoon, when the Yankees open their home schedule against the Rays.
“I’m excited to play in the Stadium as a New York Yankee and experience that [for the first time],” Holliday said. “Should be fun.”
Bird should be a go
Greg Bird sat out Friday night’s game with a sore right foot and became ill Saturday night with flu-like symptoms. He was scheduled to have an off day Sunday anyway, replaced in the lineup by Chris Carter, but he expects to be in the lineup Monday. “I’ll be ready to go,” he said.
Higgy gets the call
Catcher Kyle Higashioka, in the organization since he was taken in the seventh round of the 2008 draft, got a long- awaited call to the majors Saturday night after Gary Sanchez went on the disabled list with a right biceps strain.
“Obviously it [expletive], the circumstances, but definitely exciting for me to get that call and, finally, in my 10th season in the minors, finally making it up,” Higashioka said.
A timetable for Sanchez’s return isn’t yet known, but there should be more information Monday after he is evaluated by club doctors.
Pineda set to open
Michael Pineda smiled broadly after the game while talking about Monday’s opportunity — getting the start in the home opener.
“Tomorrow’s a big day for me,” he said. “I just need to be aggressive, especially with two outs.”
That has been a problem for Pineda for more than a year, including in his first start of the season Wednesday night in St. Petersburg against the Rays. He allowed four runs and eight hits in 3 2⁄3 innings.