Sanchez called up from Triple A
The Yankees could use all the right-handed help they can find against White Sox lefthander Chris Sale (7-0, 1.79 ERA), who was paired against Yankees righthander Luis Severino (0-5, 6.12 ERA) in Friday night’s opener of a three-game series. The Yankees hoped that the weather forecast was accurate that the rain that struck the area late in the afternoon would stop by the scheduled game time of 7:05 p.m.
Toward that end, the Yankees recalled catcher Gary Sanchez from Triple A Scranton-Wilkes Barre and planned to start him as the designated hitter in a different looking lineup put together by manager Joe Girardi.
Brett Gardner, who has been batting leadoff while Jacoby Ellsbury has been out with a hip ailment, was the only left-handed hitter in the batting order and was dropped to seventh. At the top of the order was Aaron Hicks, followed by Starlin Castro and three switch hitters batting righty — Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixeira and Chase Headley. Sanchez was in the 6-hole in front of Gardner with Austin Romine behind the plate batting eighth and Ronald Torreyes at shortstop in the 9-hole.
Sanchez got off to a rough start at SWB but has heated up recently and had a slash line of .288/.336/.541 with 13 runs, 11 doubles, one triple, five home runs and 21 RBI in 27 games and 111 at-bats. Sanchez was in line to be the backup to regular Yankees catcher Brian McCann but was beaten out for the job in spring training by Romine.
Sale entered the game working on an eight-game winning streak (in eight consecutive starts) dating back to Oct. 2 last year. The Yankees were the last team to beat Sale with a 3-2 victory last Sept. 24 at Yankee Stadium on the strength of a three-run home run by Beltran in the third inning.
The Yankees are the only team this season to end a pitcher’s winning streak of at least eight games. They handed Red Sox lefthander David Price a loss May 7 at the Stadium that stopped his nine-game winning streak (over 11 starts from Sept. 5 last year to May 1 this year). Sale will be the seventh pitcher in the majors this season to take the mound with a winning streak of eight games or longer (of the first six, only Price has had his streak ended).
This marks the only Friday the 13th game on the Yankees’ 2016 schedule, their first Friday the 13th game since a 7-0 victory June 13, 2014 at Oakland. Since 2012, the Yankees are 3-1 on Friday the 13th, with two of their three victories shutouts. The other was a 5-0 victory April 13, 2012 over the Angels at Yankee Stadium.