Tigers manager A.J. Hinch expects boos at Yankee Stadium

MLB

A.J. Hinch may be a month into his first season managing the Detroit Tigers, but he anticipates that fans at Yankee Stadium will voice their displeasure over his role in the sign-stealing scandal that marred the Houston Astros’ win over the New York Yankees’ in the 2017 American League Championship Series.

While some fans may direct venom at Hinch, they also hope to see more offensive progress from the Yankees, who host the Tigers for the opener of a three-game series Friday night.

The Astros beat the Yankees in seven games in the 2017 ALCS, which saw the home team win each game, and then they beat the Los Angeles Dodgers for the World Series title. Two years later after the Astros beat the Yankees again in the ALCS, Hinch was suspended and fired because he did not do enough to stop the scandal.

“I know exactly what to expect going to New York,” Hinch said Thursday, “but I can’t do anything about it. I have to focus on how to beat them. I know we will be ready to play, and I will have to handle whatever Bronx welcome I get.”

After pregame introductions, the Yankees are hoping to keep showing some of the encouraging signs they felt they displayed during a respectable 5-3 road trip through Cleveland and Baltimore.

The Yankees won the first three games of the four games against the Indians, but they settled for a split in Baltimore after a 4-3, 10-inning loss Thursday that was decided when Jonathan Loaisiga allowed a sacrifice fly to Cedric Mullins.

The Yankees went 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position on a day when there were some positive moments on offense. Rougned Odor hit a two-run single, Gleyber Torres hit a game-tying double in the ninth and Giancarlo Stanton went 3-for-5 to cap a trip on which he batted .419 (13-for-31).

“We’re not all the way where we want to be or are going to be,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “But there’s no question I feel like, (on) this trip, the consistency of the at-bats, rallying around that team at-bat, it’s starting to build, definitely, a little bit more now.”

The Yankees also hope Aaron Judge will be back in the lineup soon.

Judge, who did not start the final two games due to some lower-body soreness, struck out as a pinch hitter Thursday. Boone expects the slugger to be able to start Friday.

The Yankees hope the slight improvement they saw from their offense backs another strong outing from Gerrit Cole (3-1, 1.71 ERA), whose 50 strikeouts through his first five starts are the most in team history.

Cole recorded 11 strikeouts when he outdueled Shane Bieber and allowed one run and three hits in seven innings of a 2-1 win on Saturday.

Cole is 5-1 with a 2.23 ERA in seven career starts against Detroit.

The Tigers are on a 2-12 slide and head to New York after getting outscored 14-1 while losing both halves of a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox on Thursday. Detroit mustered five hits and struck out 22 times in 14 innings en route to 3-1 and 11-0 defeats.

Hinch said after the second game Thursday, “We don’t have a choice but to move forward. Today sucked. Two losses, we get on a plane late and get to New York early in the morning and have another challenge in front of us.

“There wasn’t a lot of good to take out of today.”

Detroit left-hander Tarik Skubal (0-3, 5.21 ERA) starts Friday after pitching in relief in his most recent two outings.

Skubal, who will be making his first career appearance against the Yankees, posted a 6.08 ERA in three starts to open the season. He last pitched Sunday, when he allowed two runs on four hits in 2 2/3 innings during a 4-0 loss to the Kansas City Royals.

–Field Level Media

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