Dylan Covey’s first career start last week ended with a shower of assorted beverages as the White Sox celebrated a solid showing in the team’s victory over the Twins.
His second career start five days later instead ended with a splash of reality as the Yankees pummeled the 25-year-old right-hander for eight runs in five innings.
Covey gave up three home runs – including a 448-foot shot by Aaron Judge that left Yankees players throwing their hands up in awe – in a 9-1 loss at Yankee Stadium. It was a rude New York awakening for the Rule 5 draft pick who had never pitched above Double A before Friday.
A day after halting the Yankees’ eight-game winning streak, the Sox completed their nine-game road trip 5-4 and head home 7-7 overall. They have a day off Thursday before opening a three-game series against the Indians at Guaranteed Rate Field.
“I’m sure it’s going to be something (special),” Sox manager Rick Renteria said before the game of Covey’s first experience at Yankee Stadium. “Obviously an organization that’s got a huge history. … He still has to pitch strikes. This is the big leagues. If you make a mistake, most big leaguers make you pay for it. But if he makes his pitches he’s also able to get some outs.”
Within two batters Wednesday, Covey already found himself in a 2-0 hole after Brett Gardner’s leadoff double and Chase Headley’s two-run homer.
The Yankees pushed the lead to 4-0 in the second after three straight hits to open the inning. Covey appeared to settle down after that, pitching two scoreless innings and recording the first two outs of the fifth.
But the Yankees put together four straight hits, capped by their first back-to-back homers of the year from Starlin Castro and Judge, to pull to an 8-1 lead. Aaron Hicks hit an eighth-inning solo homer off Sox reliever Michael Ynoa.
The Sox managed one run on six hits against Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka over his seven innings.
Tim Anderson doubled to open the fourth, and he scored on Jose Abreu’s second double of the night to cut the Yankees’ lead to 4-1.
Covey had given up one earned run on five hits with three walks and one strikeout in his first career start Friday against the Twins in Minnesota.
“He’s improving,” Renteria said earlier. “We’re still in a position where we’d like him to command that first-pitch strike as often as he can. He was using the breaking ball the other day very well, very effectively. We’d like to have him command that fastball for a first-pitch strike also.”
Third baseman Todd Frazier missed his sixth game while trying to regain his strength after a bout of the flu, but Renteria said he hoped to have him back Friday.