Yankees manager Aaron Boone got fired up at a rookie umpire in a profane rant, and New York awoke from a sleepy start to rally past the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2 in a doubleheader opener Thursday.
For a link to the expletive filled audio, click here.
New York rallied to win the second game 5-1 and reopen an eight-game AL East lead over the second-place Rays. Luke Voit tied the score in the fifth with his first home run since June 14, and catcher Mike Zunino caused Charlie Morton to balk home the tiebreaking run in a four-run sixth that included Didi Gregorius’ two-run single. The Yankees won three straight after wasting a ninth-inning lead in the series opener and improved to 34-11 against the AL East, including 12-5 against Tampa Bay.
After Domingo Germán (12-2) gave up solo homers to his first two batters in the first game, Gio Urshela hit a tying home run in the second off Yonny Chirinos (9-5), and Gary Sánchez smashed a go-ahead 110 mph single off the glove of third baseman Yandy Díaz during a three-run fifth. Díaz had helped the Yankees come alive when he dropped Didi Gregorius’ leadoff popup in the second for a two-base error.
Boone fumed after rookie umpire Brennan Miller called Brett Gardner out on strikes in the second inning. Miller, umpiring behind the plate for the fifth time in the major leagues, had punched out Aaron Judge in the first. Gardner batted in the second after Urshela’s tying, two-run homer and struck out on a 1-2 pitch.
Gardner returned to the dugout, slammed his bat into the bat rack nine times, then eight times into the dugout roof. Microphones caught Boone yelling that the pitch was outside to Miller, a Triple-A International League crew chief who made his big league debut April 20 as a call-up umpire.
Miller said, “I heard you, Aaron,” and when Boone persisted, the umpire ejected him. Boone ran out and kept up the argument, getting close to Miller’s face and clapping his hands for emphasis. He repeatedly called his players “savages” in the batter’s box and told Miller to “tighten it up right now, OK?”