Results tagged ‘ Mark Teixeira ’
Mark Teixeira is the Yankees’ 2015 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Wednesday, Sept. 16, marks the 14th annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente’s legacy and to recognize officially the 30 club finalists for the award given annually to a major league player who best represents the game through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.
Teixeira, who is sidelined for the remainder of the season due to a right shinbone fracture, has been involved in charitable endeavors throughout his major-league career. In 2006, the first baseman and his wife, Leigh, established the Mark Teixeira Charitable Fund, an initiative that awarded several scholarships to students from multiple high schools in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.
Three years later, Teixeira served as spokesman for the National Foundation for Cancer Research through the organization’s “Help Strike Out Sun Damage” program. He endowed a scholarship at his alma mater, Mt. St. Joseph High School in Baltimore, to honor his friend, Nick Liberatore, who died in a car accident while the two were in school together. Tex also established the Mark C. Teixeira Athletic Scholarship Fund at Georgia Tech, where he attended college.
Teixeira has been an avid supporter of Harlem RBI, a nonprofit organization in East Harlem, that provides more than 1,700 boys and girls with year-round academic, sports and enrichment programs. In 2010, he became a member of their board of directors and made a donation of $100,000 to the organization’s college preparation program. In 2011, he was honored at Harlem RBI’s “Bid for Kids” gala, which helped raise $2.25 million.
Since then, Teixeira has chaired the event each of the last four years as it has raised a combined $14.8 million. In 2011, he donated $1 million to Harlem RBI and launched his own “Dream Team 25” campaign to call on his fans to raise additional funds for its partnership with DREAM charter school to construct a 450-seat public charter school facility, community center, 87 units of low-income housing and a rebuilt public park. The project is designed to serve as a model for urban development.
In addition, Teixeira, who is the co-chair of the Harlem RBI’s $20 million Capital Campaign and the chair of its Home Run Leadership Council, continues to work with MLB to connect fellow players in support of local RBI programs around the country.
Teixeira has made personal visits to the Harlem facility, reading to students and providing baseball instruction to them. Notably, since Teixeira joined the organization, Harlem RBI has expanded its efforts to reach Mott Haven in the South Bronx, with special attention on the Paterson Houses. This year he organized Yankees teammates Alex Rodriguez and Brett Gardner to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge along with Harlem RBI youth.
The Yankees will recognize Teixeira’s nomination for this year’s Roberto Clemente Award with an on-field ceremony Thursday, Sept. 24, prior to their 7:05 p.m. game against the White Sox.
Beginning on Roberto Clemente Day, fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the winner of the award by visiting ChevyBaseball.com, which is powered by MLB Advanced Media, to vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. Voting ends Friday, Oct. 9, and participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2015 World Series, where the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced.
The concept of honoring players for their philanthropic work was created in 1971 as the Commissioner’s Award but was renamed the Roberto Clemente Award in 1973 in honor of the Hall of Fame right fielder and 15- time All-Star who died in a plane crash New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Yankees players who have received the Clemente Award were Ron Guidry in 1984, Don Baylor in 1985 and Derek Jeter in 2009. Others who played for the Yankees but won the award while with other clubs were Phil Niekro with the Braves in 1980, Dave Winfield with the Twins in 1994, Al Leiter with the Mets in 2000 and Carlos Beltran with the Cardinals in 2013. Leiter’s broadcast partner in the YES Network booth, Ken Singleton, won the award in 1982 with the Orioles.
Among the other winners are Hall of Famers Willie Mays, Brooks Robinson, Al Kaline, Willie Stargell, Lou Brock, Rod Carew, Gary Carter, Cal Ripken Jr., Barry Larkin, Ozzie Smith, Kirby Puckett and Tony Gwynn.
The pain in Mark Teixeira’s right shinbone seemed too severe for a mere bruise, but test after test indicated that was all it was until Friday when a bone fracture was diagnosed, which came as no surprise to the Yankees’ first baseman whose 2015 season came to a painful end.
“I can’t put into words how disappointed I am,” Teixeira said before Friday night’s game, the first in a pivotal four-game series against the first-place Blue Jays, who have a 1 1/2-game lead over the Yankees in the American League East. “I believe this is a team that can win the World Series. It’s disappointing that I can’t be part of it.”
Teixeira went on a gluten- and sugar-free diet over the past off-season in an attempt to reduce inflammation in his body after two injury-plagued seasons. He was in the best shape of his career and determined to be injury-free. Then on Aug. 17, Teixeira hit a foul ball off his right leg. He has had only three at-bats since and now faces a two-month recovery period.
“When I got hurt, it was as painful as any injury I have ever had,” Teixeira said. “I was trying to play every single day.”
Teixeira took batting practice several times, but he could not run and recently could not walk without the aid of crutches.
His is a deep loss to the Yankees. Teixeira was in the AL Most Valauble Player conversation for much of the first half. He is still the team’s home run leader with 31, one more than Alex Rodriguez, and batted .255 with 79 runs batted in.
The Yankees are 12-9 since his injury but have lost 2 1/2 games in the standings to Toronto over that period.
The Yankees entered play Tuesday night merely a whisper out of first place in the American League East, but the medical reports continue to be unfavorable. Naturally at this time of year, plenty of players are banged up. Still, the Yankees are dealing with more of their share of injured players.
The latest to throw a monkey wrench in the division race is Nathan Eovaldi, the staff’s leading winner with a 14-3 record. An MRI revealed inflammation in the righthander’s pitching elbow. He has to be shut down for two weeks, which essentially means he is toast for the rest of the regular season.
Also hurting is left fielder Brett Gardner, who was out of the starting lineup for the second straight game because of a sore left shoulder which he crashed into a fence trying to make a catch in Saturday’s loss to the Rays.
Meanwhile, the prognosis on first baseman Mark Teixeira (right shinbone bruise) is not good. He received two more injections Tuesday. “The progress we expected to see we have not seen,” manager Joe Girardi said.
And Wednesday night, the Yankees’ starting pitcher will be CC Sabathia coming off the 15-day disabled list and wearing a new brace on his arthritic right knee.
Eovaldi’s injury creates a major hole in the rotation, which most likely will be filled by righthander Adam Warren, who began the season as a starter but has done a terrific job in relief. He had been expected to be a potent weapon out of the bullpen in the upcoming, four-game series at Yankee Stadium against the Blue Jays, whose lineup is laced with right-handed power hitters. It almost makes certain that Masahiro Tanaka, the scheduled starter for the Yankees Tuesday night, will go again Sunday on four days’ rest against Toronto, even though Girardi has preferred giving him an extra day between starts.
“I blame Eovaldi on myself,” Girardi said wearily, “because I used to say he is the one starter I didn’t worry about, and then this inflammation arose.”
Eovaldi said he felt fine during his start Saturday when he allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings but uncomfortable after it. His chest felt tight, and there was soreness in his right elbow and shoulder. He did not play catch Sunday, his normal routine the day after a start, and told trainer Steve Donahue there was still pain in the elbow.
“I’m relieved that it is just inflammation and that everything is fine with the ligament,” Eovaldi said, “but the timing is bad.”
Is it ever? The Yankees have seven more games against the Blue Jays with their winningest pitcher unavailable for any of them.
It was only a little more than a week ago that Yankees manager Joe Girardi contemplating using Alex Rodriguez, a season-long designated hitter, as a first baseman as part of the plan to deal with the loss to injury of Mark Teixeira. Girardi was concerned that the Yankees might be vulnerable against left-handed pitching with the switch-hitting Teixeira out of the lineup.
Fortunately for the Yankees, the play of rookie Greg Bird as Tex’s caddy has turned this situation into a non-issue. Bird got the most important hit of Monday’s 8-6 victory over the Orioles, a three-run home run in the seventh inning that unlocked a 5-5 score. It came off a left-handed pitcher, too, as Brian Matusz got too much of the plate with a slider on a count of 0-2.
As Matusz was jogging in from the bullpen, Bird ducked into the runway and watched some quick video of the lefthander, which he later said may not have helped all that much. “For me, it’s more important what I see from the batter’s box,” Bird said.
Bird anticipated fastball from Matusz and adjusted when he saw the spin indicating breaking ball. It was a big-league approach from a young hitter who has gotten more and more comfortable in the big leagues, so much so that you don’t hear too many people around the Yankees mentioning Teixeira’s injury any more.
That is the way of baseball. A player goes on the disabled list, and someone else must step up. Bird has done that for the most part. He is batting .263 with five home runs and 17 RBI in 76 at-bats. And get this: against left-handed pitching, the lefty-swinging Bird is 6-for-17 (.353) with a double, two home runs and six RBI. Who needs A-Rod to leave his DH perch with this kind of production?
Rodriguez also contributed a home run (No. 29, career No. 683), a solo shot in the fifth off Wei-Yin Chen as the Yankees clawed away at a 4-1 Baltimore lead. A two-run homer by John Ryan Murphy later in the inning put the Yanks ahead, 5-4. Justin Wilson gave up a game-tying homer to Manny Machado in the top of the seventh before Bird settled matters in the bottom half.
His blow was the 38th homer of at least three runs (31 three-run homers and seven grand slams), the most by a major-league team in one season since 2009 when the Phillies had 39. The Yankees had have multiple homers in six of their past 10 games.
The long balls were vital for the Yankees to bail out Michael Pineda, who gave up four runs (three on a home run by Jonathan Schoop) in the second inning and then allowed only one walk and one hit over the next four innings. Girardi credited Murphy, the catcher, with helping the struggling pitcher through the outing.
Labor Day marked the third holiday this season on which Pineda started. The others were Mother’s Day and Fourth of July. In those starts, the righthander was 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 20 innings.
After Bird’s homer, Girardi went with his twin bullpen aces to finish off the game, but it was a bit dicey. Dellin Betances had a weird eighth in which he walked three batters and struck out three. The next inning, Andrew Miller was touched for a run but prevailed to record his 32nd save.
The victory coupled with Toronto’s loss at Boston moved the Yankees within a half-game of the Blue Jays in the American League East.
The Yankees are 12-7 in the games following Aug. 17 when Teixeira fouled a ball off his right shinbone. He started one of those games and pinch-hit in another, and the Yanks lost both. So without Tex taking part in games over this stretch, the Yankees are 12-5. Sure, they may have had a better record if he did not get hurt, but clearly they are succeeding despite his loss.
Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia are determined to return to the Yankees before the regular season is completed. Tex joined CC on the 15-day disabled list Friday, retroactive to Aug. 27, which allowed the Yankees to recall pitcher Nick Rumbelow from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Teixeira, who is back on crutches while dealing with a right shinbone bruise, told reporters before the game against the Rays that he plans to return to the club at some point this month. General manager Brian Cashman said, “We are looking at weeks,” when talking of Teixeira’s time away, but the All-Star first baseman vows it will be only two.
“There’s progression now,” Teixeira said. “There’s going to be a build-up, from walking to jogging and running, making sure I can do everything. That’s why I’m back on the crutches, really letting the whole thing calm down and starting from scratch. Hopefully this weekend, I’ll be off the crutches and getting into walking again. There’s no permanent damage. It’s just a really bad bone bruise, worse than we first expected. It’s unfortunate, but hopefully we have two months of the season left, so there’s plenty of time for me to get healthy and come back.”
Sabathia, disabled since Aug. 24 because of inflammation in his right knee, pitched a four-inning simulated game, which impressed manager Joe Girardi, who said the lefthander is a candidate to return to the rotation Wednesday night against the Orioles.
“I felt good,” Sabathia siad. “No pain. I tested it pretty good as I would as if I was in a game, so I’m excited.”
The Yankees’ 13-8 victory over the Red Sox Wednesday at Fenway Park was the 800th of Girardi’s managerial career (722 with the Yankees since 2008, 78 with the Marlins in 2006 when he was the National League Manager of the Year). Girardi is one of 10 active managers with at least 800 victories. The others alphabetically are the Giants’ Bruce Bochy, the Mets’ Terry Collins, the Indians’ Terry Francona, the Pirates’ Clint Hurdle, the Cubs’ Joe Maddon, the Athletics’ Bob Melvin, the Angels’ Mike Scioscia, the Orioles’ Buck Showalter and the Royals’ Ned Yost.
The Yankees have not had many breaks go their way lately, such as Mark Teixeira’s MRI. One night after squandering a bevy of scoring opportunities in stranding 14 base runners, the Yankees capitalized on a big break offensively and another defensively in Tuesday night’s 3-1 victory over the Red Sox.
The way Boston starter Rick Porcello pitched it was a wonder the Yankees got on the board at all. There was no doubt about the one earned run charged to Porcello. Brett Gardner got all of a 0-1 pitch to hook it around Fenway Park’s Pesky Pole in right field for his 13th home run, in the eighth inning.
The inning that made the difference for the Yankees was the fifth. After a leadoff single by Alex Rodriguez, Porcello struck out Chase Headley and Greg Bird and seemed to have gotten the third out as well when Didi Gregorius hit a bouncing ball toward first base. What should have been an easy out went under the glove of first baseman Travis Shaw for an error that put runners on second and third.
Stephen Drew, whose bat has come alive the past week, lined a double to left-center that turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 Yankees lead. Gardner’s homer apart, Drew’s hit was the hardest allowed by Porcello, who had the Yankees walking back to the dugout for eight innings with 13 strikeouts, 10 of which were on called third strikes.
The two-run double was poetic justice for Drew, who was robbed of a hit in the third by second baseman Brock Holt with a nifty back-handed grab to start an inning-ending double play.
Michael Pineda may not have been as overpowering as Porcello but was just as effective in ending a personal three-game losing streak for his first winning decision since July 10, also at Boston. Only one of the Red Sox’ 18 outs against Pineda was recorded in the outfield as Pineda struck out seven batters and kept the ball in the infield for 10 outs.
Jackie Bradley doubled twice off Pineda. Bradley scored the Red Sox’ only run on a two-out single by Pablo Sandoval in the third. Two innings later, Bradley doubled with two outs, but Pineda kept him from scoring by getting a called third strike by Mookie Betts.
The other major break for the Yankees came in the eighth as the Red Sox threatened against Dellin Betances, who entered the game the previous inning. Singles by Betts and Zander Bogaerts gave the Sox runners on first and second with one out and David Ortiz at the plate.
On a double steal attempt, Yankees catcher Brian McCann threw to third baseman Chase Headley, who put the tag on Betts. Or did he? Third base umpire Vic Carapazza delayed his call to see if Betts’ foot was on the bag while Headley leaned over and kept his glove on Betts’ right ankle.
Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo challenged the call based on Betts’ claim that Headley pushed him off the bag, which is an illegal maneuver but one not covered on replays. The replay crew in Chelsea agreed with the call by the umpire, whose decision it was on the field to determine whether Betts was pushed off the bag or not. Carapazza obviously did not think so.
It was a big break for the Yankees because it meant instead of runners on second and third with one out it was runner on second and two out. Betances finished matters by striking out Ortiz. It was not a good night for Big Papi, who was punched out four times. In the ninth, Andrew Miller added three more Ks for his 29th save.
For a while there, it appeared as if the Yankees would get one more break as the Indians rallied in the ninth inning at Toronto to tie the score, but the Blue Jays prevailed in the 10th to maintain their 1 1/2-game lead in the American League East.
The news on the condition of Mark Teixeira’s right leg remains bad, even to the point of worse. Tex, who had hoped to return to action during the three-game series at Boston, will find himself on crutches instead.
An MRI of the All-Star first baseman Tuesday in New York showed a deeper bone bruise than originally revealed and more fluid in the area which he damaged Aug. 17 by fouling a ball off it. Tex has made one start and three plate appearances in 13 games since then. The Yankees are 7-6 in those games.
The only positive part of the medical report on Teixeira is that there is no fracture of the bone. Nevertheless, he cannot run and needs crutches for the next few days just to walk. This does not bode well for the Yankees as they start September and begin a stretch run trailing the Blue Jays by 1 1/2 games in the American League East.
Greg Bird, the rookie who has played first base mostly while Tex has been sidelined, has done a decent job overall, although his performance in Monday night’s 4-3 loss was far from his best. He struck out twice with the bases loaded in his 1-for-5 showing, was thrown out at the plate trying to score and bobbled a potential double-play grounder as what proved the deciding run scored.
All this concern about first base has prompted manager Joe Girardi to consider using Alex Rodriguez there, which I think is foolish. To begin with, A-Rod is not a first baseman. He has spent his entire career on the left side of the infield. Rodriguez played a game there earlier in the season and was horrible in the field. He has been a designated hitter most of the season and benefit from not taxing his 40-year-old legs to make an offensive comeback. I would not mess around with that, especially at a time when A-Rod has shown the first signs of advanced age. He batted .153 with two home runs and 10 RBI in 85 at-bats in August and watched his season batting average slide from .282 to .256. Girardi finally took him out of the 3-hole in the batting order Tuesday night.
The Yankees have other options that to me make more sense. Third baseman Chase Headley, a switch hitter, has shown in the past that he can handle first base as well and could be used in a sort of platoon with Bird. Brendan Ryan also has experience at first base, as does Austin Romine, a catcher by trade and who is one of the eighth minor-league players the Yankees promoted as rosters expanded Tuesday. Utility infielder Dustin Ackley is also experienced as a first baseman.
No matter how you look at it, Teixeira’s loss will be difficult for the Yankees to overcome, but they should not compound it with the notion that a 40-year-old DH who 130 games into the season has played only 35 innings in the field (10 at first base) might be part of the solution.
Mark Teixeira had hoped to be healthy enough to play in Boston, but while the Yankees were preparing for Monday night’s series opener at Fenway Park their first baseman was headed back to New York for more tests on his right leg.
Teixeira injured the leg Aug. 17 when he hit a foul ball off an area near his right shin. He has started one game and totaled three at-bats since then. Tex has been able to swing a bat — he takes BP regularly — but has difficulty running. When he awoke Monday and was still in pain, Teixeira decided another round of tests was needed.
Rookie Greg Bird has been playing first base in Teixeira’s place and entered Monday night’s game batting .255 with two home runs and 10 RBI in 51 at-bats. Yankees manager Joe Girardi also said using Alex Rodriguez at first base is no longer out of the question, which would not be the case if Teixeira were healthy. Since April 27, Rodriguez has played only two innings in the field (one at third base and one at first). A-Rod has worked out at first base the past three days. He was back in the lineup Monday night as the designated hitter after having made only two pinch-hitting appearances over the weekend in Atlanta with the DH prohibited in National League parks.
CC Sabathia, who is on the 15-day disabled list because of right knee inflammation, has resumed throwing on the sidelines. General manager Brian Cashman was quoted as saying that Sabathia would return to the rotation immediately upon his reinstatement from the DL.
The Yankees’ 20-6 victory over the Braves Sunday marked the second time this season they scored at least 20 runs in a game. The other was a 21-5 victory July 28 at Texas when they had a seven-game lead in the American League East that has since been overtaken by the Blue Jays. The Red Sox are the only other team that has scored 20 or more runs in a game this season — a 22-10 victory August 15 over the Mariners at Fenway Park.
The Yanks are one of 18 major league teams since 1900 that have scored at least 20 runs in multiple games in a season and just the second since 2001 (the Phillies did it twice in 2008). The Yankees have done it five times — three times in 1939 and twice apiece in 1931, 1949 and 1999. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was only the third time since inter-league play began in 1997 that an AL team scored at least 20 runs in an NL ballpark.
The Yankees’ nine-run seventh inning was their third time scoring at least that many in an inning in the past 31 games (nine in the seventh Aug. 4 against the Red Sox, 11 in the second July 28 at Texas).
Stephen Drew, who grew up in Georgia, went 4-for-4 with three runs, one home run, four RBI and two walks Sunday at Atlanta. He became the third Yankees player this season to reach base safely six times in a game. The others were Brett Gardner (three hits, three walks July 28 at Texas) and Jacoby Ellsbury (four hits, one walk, one hit by pitch May 3 at Boston. Drew and Chase Headley (3-for-3, three runs, one double, one home run, four RBI, two walks) were the first pair of Yankees teammates to each get three hits, three runs and four RBI in the same game since Aug. 23, 1999 by Tino Martinez (4-for-6, three runs, four RBI) and Scott Brosius (4-for-6, 4 runs, six RBI). Also in that game, Girardi was 4-for-6 with a career-high seven RBI.
The Brian McCann lovefest in Atlanta continued Saturday night as the Yankees won again, although this time without the fireworks their offense showed Friday night in a 15-4 bashing of the Braves.
The winning score for the Yankees was a much more modest 3-1, but once again McCann and Didi Gregorius supplied some firepower to match the superlative pitching of Luis Severino (2-2), Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller (28th save).
McCann, returning to his hometown and Turner Field where he was an All-Star catcher for the Braves before signing as a free agent with the Yankees last year, got his fifth RBI of the series with a double to right-center in the eighth inning that scored Chris Young, pinch running for Carlos Beltran, who had led off with a walk.
You would have thought McCann was still playing for the Braves the way so many fans in the sellout crowd of 49,243 reacted to his hit. Yankees fans seemed to be in every part of the stands.
That proved an important insurance run for Betances, who worked out of jams in the seventh and eighth innings as the Braves threatened to even the score. Atlanta got on the board in the seventh when Justin Wilson an ill-advised throw to first base by Gregorius for an error on a fielder’s choice.
Betances entered with two out and a runner on first base and got off to a shaky start by walking Cameron Maybin on four pitches. That brought up the dangerous Freddie Freeman, who hit a hard grounder up the middle that Betances gloved with a behind-the-back swipe and threw to first to end the inning.
After McCann’s hit made the score 3-1 in the eighth, the Braves put two runners on with singles in the bottom half, but Betances struck out Andrelton Simmons looking at a fastball on the inside corner, to which the shortstop objected demonstratively but was not ejected.
Miller made quick work of the Braves in the ninth by retiring the side in order with two strikeouts.
In a pairing of rookies, Severino got the better of Atlanta’s Matt Wisler, who gave up a run in the first inning on a wild pitch but held the Yankees down until the seventh when back-to-back doubles by Chase Headley and Gregorius gave the Yankees their second run. Gregorius’ two-bagger was their only hit in 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position and his ninth RBI in the past three games.
Severino, who seems to get better with every start, pitched six innings and allowed only four hits with five strikeouts. He had some control issues with three walks but held the Braves hitless in three at-bats with runners in scoring position as they stranded six runners in his time on the mound.
The righthander has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his five starts and lowered his season ERA to 2.17. He has become a fixture in the rotation and has displayed composure unexpected of a 21-year-old.
Not all of the news in Atlanta has been positive, however. Mark Teixeira still experiences pain attempting to run and remains on the bench for an indefinite period. He is doubtful for Sunday’s series finale at the Ted and hopeful to return in Boston, the next stop on the trip.
Maybe that day off Thursday was just what the Yankees needed. They burst out of the gate Friday night at Atlanta at the start of a six-game trip that continues to Boston with five runs in the top of the first inning, which is one more run than they scored in all 27 of the innings in the recent three-game series against the Astros.
The Yankees were not content with that five spot. They poured it on again with four runs the next inning and four more in the eighth and two in the ninth off Jonny Gomes, Atlanta’s sixth pitcher and an outfielder by trade, for a 15-4 triumph. Just three days ago, the Yankees were on the other end of a 15-1 score.
It was an ideal homecoming for Georgia native Brian McCann, who walked three times, belted a three-run home run and got a fourth RBI with a sacrifice fly. He was even cheered by the Turner Field crowd when he homered.
As good as McCann was, Didi Gregorius was better. He set a career high with six RBI in a 4-for-5 game. Chase Headley had three RBI with a couple of doubles.
The Yankees were hitless in 14 at-bats in losing two of three games to Houston at Yankee Stadium, but they got off to a 2-for-2 start in those situations against the Braves and rookie righthander Williams Perez.
Jacoby Ellsbury, who did not play Wednesday while nursing a bruised right hip, was back in the lineup Friday night although he and Brett Gardner failed to reach base in the first inning. Carlos Beltran got the Yankees going with a two-out single that ran his hitting streak to 11 games.
McCann, who received a standing ovation from the crowd, followed with his first walk. McCann grew up in the region and was an All-Star catcher for the Braves before signing with the Yankees as a free agent prior to the 2014 season.
Perez walked fellow rookie Greg Bird, which loaded the bases for Headley, who ended the Yankees’ hitless stretch in the clutch with a double that bounced over the fence in left-center for two runs.
Gregorius then drove a 1-0 pitch to right field for a three-run home run, the Yankees’ second consecutive hit with runners in scoring position. It was the second home run in three at-bats for Gregorius, who had a two-run shot Wednesday.
Staked to the 5-0 lead, Masahiro Tanaka had a shaky bottom of the first inning and gave back two runs on an RBI single by Freddie Freeman and a sacrifice fly by Nick Swisher. It might have been worse for Tanaka if not for Ellsbury, who made a diving catch on that sore right hip on the center field warning track to rob Christian Bethancourt of a potential extra-base hit that probably would have scored two runs.
The Yankees followed a similar pattern in the second inning by putting up four more runs on the board with the rally again starting after two out. Singles by Gardner and Beltran and another walk to McCann filled the bases and spelled the end for Perez.
Reliever Ross Detwiler was not any better than his predecessor at throwing strikes. The lefthander walked Bird and Headley to force in two runs and gave up a two-run single to Gregorius, who has eight RBI in his past seven at-bats. After an intentional walk to Stephen Drew reloaded the bases, Tanaka tried to help himself as the 10th batter of the inning but struck out.
Tanaka did not do much wrong on the mound, however, as he shook off the uneven first inning. After giving up a solo home run to Freeman in the third, Tanaka retired 13 batters in a row before Adrelton Simmons doubled with two out in the seventh, which was the Japanese righthander’s last inning.
Bryan Mitchell pitched the final 1 1/3 innings, his first appearance in 11 days since he was struck in the face with a line drive by the Twins’ Eduardo Nunez and sustained a nasal fracture. But the day off did nothing to improve Mark Teixeira’s condition. The bone bruise near his right shin continues to hamper his running ability and kept him on the bench.