Padres’ second-deck shots doom Yankees in Randy Vasquez’s debut
Randy Vasquez and the Yankees knew that the Padres’ lineup would test the 24-year-old pitcher in his major league debut Friday. But Vasquez nearly passed with flying colors — until Juan Soto got ahold of a cutter in the fifth inning.
With a runner on first, Soto drove the pitch 432 feet at 114.1 miles per hour. The second-deck deposit started the scoring in a 5-1 series-opening win for the Padres.
Still, Vasquez exited to applause a few batters later, as he threw the ball well before Soto went deep.
With just nine starts of Triple-A experience, Vasquez appeared comfortable on the mound at Yankee Stadium, totaling four hits, two earned runs, three walks and six strikeouts over 4.2 innings and 84 pitches. He also hit a batter.
It looked as if Vasquez was in for a rough debut when he walked two in the first, but he escaped trouble and settled in for a few innings after that.
Vasquez only made one big mistake, but the Padres weren’t done with the second deck. After Soto went to right field, Fernando Tatis Jr. took care of the left side with his own two-run missile off Ron Marinaccio in the sixth.
Tatis Jr., who heard “steroids” chants from the Bronx faithful in the first inning, admired the shot before circling the bases.
The Padres added another run in the ninth when ex-Yankee Rougned Odor picked up an RBI single off Ryan Weber.
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The Bombers’ offense, meanwhile, had a hard time with Joe Musgrove. The right-hander went 6.1 innings while holding the Yankees to one run. He also surrendered six hits and struck out six batters without walking any.
The Yankees scored their lone run off an Anthony Rizzo groundout in the sixth. Friday was the offense’s second consecutive game with just one run.
The Yankees are now on a three-game losing streak. They’ll look to snap that on Saturday when Luis Severino makes his second start of the year.
The righty made his 2023 debut on May 21 in Cincinnati after suffering a lat injury late in spring training. Severino pitched well against a lousy Reds team, allowing one earned run over 4.2 innings as he continued to build up at the major league level.
Michael Wacha, a Yankees killer, will start for San Diego. The veteran, who used to pitch for Tampa Bay and Boston, owns a 3.02 ERA across 50.2 career innings against the pinstripers.
Wacha has a 3.58 ERA after nine starts this season.
Sunday’s finale features the best pitching matchup of this series, as Gerrit Cole will face Yu Darvish. Cole has a 2.53 ERA through 11 starts, while Darvish has a 3.67 mark after nine starts.