NEW YORK (AP) - The Baby Bombers headed home for their Yankee Stadium opener with pediatric pains.
After rallying to beat Baltimore 7-3 on Sunday, the Yankees finished 2-4 on their season-opening road trip. Michael Pineda (0-1) starts Monday for New York against Alex Cobb (1-0) and the Tampa Bay Rays in the Bronx.
“It’s going to be packed,” right fielder Aaron Judge said. “Fans are going to be excited.”
Power-hitting catcher Gary Sanchez was put on the 10-day disabled list after straining his right biceps against the Orioles on Saturday, and first baseman Greg Bird missed his second straight game Sunday because of a bruised right foot and flu-like symptoms. Tyler Austin broke a bone in his left foot when he fouled off a pitch during batting practice early in spring training.
Oh, and among the veterans, shortstop Didi Gregorius is on the disabled list after straining his throwing arm during the World Baseball Classic.
Still, the Yankees looked forward to getting home, where they play 15 of their next 21 games.
“Being in your own bed, it’s going to be nice,” manager Joe Girardi said. “There’s a lot of things to look forward to.”
New York won four of its first six games last year before sliding to a 9-17 start. The team’s major offseason moves were bringing back closer Aroldis Chapman, traded to the Chicago Cubs last summer, and signing outfielder Matt Holliday.
“I’m excited to get back and put the pinstripes on,” Holliday said. “Playing in Yankee Stadium as a Yankee is pretty exciting.”
New York opened the season at Tampa Bay, spending extra days near the club’s spring training complex.
“I’m looking forward to get back to New York - get home, get settled,” Judge said.
By rallying from a three-run deficit Sunday, the Yankees avoided what would have been their worst start since opening 1-7 in 1989.
Pineda lost to Cobb last Wednesday, allowing four runs and eight hits in just 3 2/3 innings and giving up a first-inning home run to Corey Dickerson. Pineda said he has to focus more than he did in his first start.
“It’s the most fun when you play in your own house,” he said.
Pregame ceremonies will include a moment of silence for late baseball executive Katy Feeney, and ceremonial first pitches from former Yankees manager Joe Torre and old New York stars Tino Martinez and Willie Randolph, part of the staff for the championship U.S. team at the WBC. Mamie Parris of the cast of Broadway’s “Cats” will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Players looked forward to being in their own clubhouse.
“The facilities are a lot better than they are on the road,” third baseman Chase Headley said. “You’re with your family. There’s a comfort level.”
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