Billy McKinney belts first homer as Yankee : ‘pretty fired up’
Billy McKinney Makes Winning Return to The Bronx with Yankees
Five years after his last appearance at Yankee Stadium, Billy McKinney finally returned to The Bronx in pinstripes on Thursday and marked his comeback with a home run as the Yankees split a doubleheader with the Chicago White Sox. McKinney had previously played at the stadium as a road player and was delighted to finally get his chance to hit a home run as the home player. McKinney tripled and homered during the two games, both of which had very different outcomes, losing the first 6-5 and winning the second 3-0.
McKinney’s homer came in the fifth inning of the nightcap game and was blasted off a high 94 mph fastball from the White Sox starter, Mike Clevinger, which sailed into the bleachers in right-center field.
McKinney was signed by the Yankees from the Cubs, along with Gleyber Torres and others in the Aroldis Chapman trade back in July 2016. After making his debut with the Yankees in 2018, he was later traded to the Blue Jays in a deal that brought J.A. Happ to the Bronx. McKinney signed to join the Yankees this offseason on a minor league deal.
Following Aaron Judge’s placement on the injured list with a right big toe injury, McKinney seized his chance to return to the majors and could go some way to fill the void left by Judge.
Who did the Yankees play in the doubleheader?
The Yankees played the Chicago White Sox in the doubleheader.
How long was it since Billy McKinney played at Yankee Stadium?
Billy McKinney had not played as a home player at Yankee Stadium for five years.
What did Billy McKinney hit in the nightcap game?
Billy McKinney hit a home run in the nightcap game.
‘Billy McKinney Delighted as He Hits First Home Run as a Yankee’
Well-Traveled Outfielder Billy McKinney Finally Makes Debut with Yankees
Billy McKinney, a first-round pick by the Athletics in 2013, finally made his way back to The Bronx in pinstripes on Thursday, five years after being traded to the Yankees from the Cubs in the Aroldis Chapman deal. It was a memorable day for the 28-year-old, who hit a home run as the Yankees split a doubleheader with the White Sox, losing Game 1, 6-5, and winning Game 2, 3-0.
“I was a little disappointed that I never got to get a hit in Yankee Stadium as a home player. I played here as a road player. Getting the home run means a lot,” McKinney said.
He tripled in the opener and homered in the fifth inning of the nightcap, continuing the torrid stretch he had been on with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. McKinney hit his homer, on a high 94 mph fastball from White Sox starter Mike Clevinger, into the bleachers in right-center field. “It was cool. I was pretty fired up. Glad it went out and glad we got the win,” he said.
McKinney signed a minor league deal with the Yankees this offseason and got his chance to play when Aaron Judge was placed on the injured list with a right big toe injury the day before. Judge, who is irreplaceable, will be missed, but McKinney’s mindset is simple: Be productive.
“Just help the team win, that’s the goal,” McKinney said. “Win as many games as we can. It’s Aaron Judge, he’s one of a kind. Just do my best and help the team win. That’s all that matters.”
On his first day, McKinney showed he may be able to help fill the void somewhat. “Opportunity knocks, and he did a great job for us today,” manager Aaron Boone said. “I thought he had great at-bats throughout the day. Good to see him come up, and like some of the other guys