PADRES (28-26) AT YANKEES (35-18)
6:35 p.m. ET; YES, FSSD, MLB.TV
Each time he stepped in the batter’s box at Yankee Stadium on Monday afternoon, Manny Machado heard boos from fans.
Then during a short but tense interview, Machado downplayed the crowd reaction and tried to deflect his comments about the San Diego Padres opening a three-game series against the New York Yankees with a 5-2 loss.
Machado and the Padres will attempt to even the three-game interleague series with the Yankees on Tuesday night, when San Diego plays its second game at the current Yankee Stadium.
Machado met with the Yankees during free agency following last season but was not pursued by New York to be its starting third baseman. Instead, he landed with the Padres on a 10-year, $300 million contract that he signed in February.
Machado was 1-for-4 in his 46th career regular-season game at Yankee Stadium. He was hitless in his first three at-bats before getting a double off Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning.
“We took the ‘L,'” Machado said. “We took the ‘L.’ We know that they’re a good team over there and we’re going to have to bring our ‘A’ game and we did, but they outscored us at the end of the day, so take the ‘L’ today and try to come back tomorrow and get that ‘W.'”
As for whether the booing was louder or more noticeable than other places the Padres visit, Machado did his best to downplay it.
“How can you compare?” Machado said “A boo’s a boo.”
Regardless of how the crowd reacts to him, Machado and the Padres will attempt to avoid following a five-game winning streak with a three-game losing streak. Since scoring 19 runs Saturday in Toronto, San Diego has been held to three runs and struck out 18 times.
The Yankees did not sign Machado because they had Miguel Andujar coming off a strong rookie season. Andujar is out for the season with a torn right shoulder labrum, but the Yankees own one of the best records in the majors even with an injured list that also includes Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Luis Severino and Dellin Betances.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of Machado getting booed, “I think that’s just baseball. When you’re a great player, sometimes the visiting crowd lets you hear about it. I more attribute it to what a good player Manny is.”
The Yankees are not focused on the crowd reaction for Machado but on increasing their win total after Clint Frazier, Brett Gardner and Gary Sanchez homered Monday. Those long balls helped the Yankees win for the 12th time in 14 games, 17th time in 21 games and improve to 35-18 for the second straight season.
New York’s Tuesday starter, Masahiro Tanaka (3-3, 2.94 ERA), will face the Padres for the first time.
Tanaka will make his second start after taking a comebacker by Tampa Bay’s Yandy Diaz off his right shin on May 18. He last pitched Thursday and took a no-decision after allowing one run on five hits in six innings of a 6-5 win in Baltimore.
Eric Lauer (3-4, 4.73 ERA) starts Tuesday for San Diego. The left-hander halted a six-start winless skid on Wednesday when he allowed one run on four hits in seven innings in a 5-2 win over Arizona.
Before beating the Diamondbacks, he was 0-3 with a 5.52 ERA in his prior six outings.
Lauer owns a 1.64 ERA with no-decisions in two career interleague starts, but he has never faced the Yankees.
–Field Level Media