Marwin Gonzalez makes second start as a Yankee as Bombers add extra lefty bat to lineup against Blue Jays

TORONTO — Marwin Gonzalez made his second start, his first in the outfield, for the Yankees Tuesday night in the second game of a three-game series against the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. Against Alek Manhoah, the Blue Jays tough young right-hander, Aaron Boone said he wanted to get another lefty in the lineup and the switch hitting Gonzalez is the rare Yankee with some positive results against Manoah.

“I do know he got a few hits against him last year. I just knew when I wasn’t gonna go with Joey (Gallo) and not wanting to run (Giancarlo Stanton)  back out in the outfield again tonight. And then I just (said) let’s get another lefty bat in there somewhere,” the Yankees manager said. “And the fact that he had a little success against them last year hopefully carries on.”

Gonzalez went 3-for-6 with a walk and a strikeout against Manoah last season. Gallo, who is still day-to-day with a tight left groin, was 2-for-6 against Manoah, and Stanton also was 2-for-6.

DJ LeMahieu, who went 0-for-8 with four strikeouts against Manoah last season, was out of the lineup Tuesday.

Gonzalez was signed because of his defensive versatility. He can play every position in the infield except catcher and can also play the outfield.

Gallo was on the field and hitting with the final group during the Yankees batting practice Tuesday, but Boone was still being cautious with him. It was the third straight game that Gallo was out of the starting lineup with the left groin issues that he first felt during the Bombers sweep of the Royals in Kansas City over the weekend.

“I know yesterday was better than the day before and I think we’re at least encouraged by what we saw, but soft tissue things. . . you just kind of want to err on the side of caution, especially this time of year,” Boone said of Gallo. “Making sure he’s sound  and ready to go. So we’ll see how he does pregame and you know, I’m expecting it to go pretty well.”

Gallo, who is struggling offensively to start the season, had two hits in Saturday night’s game before having to leave after injuring himself trying to steal second base. Gallo has had just two multi-hit games this season, so he was frustrated to have to sit just when he felt like he was seeing some results.

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Gallo is hitting .180/.275/.295 with a .570 OPS, two  home runs and three RBI. The lefty has struck out 29 times in 61 at-bats and walked eight times.

“Last night he was an emergency option. I’m hoping and expecting that he’ll be an option for me tonight, but I want to go through the pregame and make sure he gets through but I know he’s feeling pretty good,” Boone said. “And actually in talking to him last night he wanted to be in there today. I just felt like I wanted to give him another day.”

The Yankees pitchers boast the best ERA (2.69) in the American League and second-best in MLB behind the Dodgers. They aren’t the only ones to give credit to, though. Jose Trevino and Kyle Higashioka had done a tremendous job handling the staff.

“They’re an important part. It’s called the battery for a reason. They need to work in sync. They need to be on the same page. It’s a partnership there,” Boone said. “So the catcher plays an important role in the success of a pitching staff and I feel our two catchers to this point have played a big part.”

Higashioka has caught 124 innings and the staff has a 3.48 ERA with him behind the plate. It’s 1.51 in the 83.2 innings that Trevino has caught.

So far, neither has made an offensive impact. Higashioka is hitting .136/.204/.182 with a .386 OPS. Trevino is slashing a slightly better .185/.241/.222 with a .464 OPS.

“Both are tremendous back there, but we also expect them to hit, too. And I think in Jose’s case, you look at his at-bats, he’s actually hit a lot of balls I feel like well and hasn’t gotten rewarded a lot for it,” Boone said. “And then Higgy will get going. He’ll get his power stroke going here. We need those guys to contribute like we think they’re capable of, but there’s no question the impact they’ve had behind the plate has been tremendous.”

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