New York Yankees left fielder Aaron Hicks was pulled out of the Rays’ 2-2 loss on Friday night as the team lost 4-2 to the Rays.
Hicks’ problems started with two outs in the fourth inning. Wonder Franco sliced a liner into left field tracked by Hicks, only to see it bounce off his glove and fall to the ground. Hicks briefly stopped chasing the ball before realizing it was in play. However, it was too late as two Tampa Bay runners on him scored as he gave the Rays a 3–0 lead.
Randy Arrozarena then stepped up and sent a long fly ball to left that Hicks was unable to corral, leading to another run.
Fans played it to Hicks, booed the veteran outfielder, and even chanted “Joey Gallo.” It’s a reference to the Yankees outfielder who was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers last month after a disastrous year in New York.
Hicks was replaced next inning by Esteban Florial.
“At that point, I felt like I needed to kick him out, so that was the decision I made at that point,” manager Aaron Boone told reporters after the game.
“Second [the Arozarena hit] is really tough.and the first one [the Franco hit] I thought he had a pretty good jump and ran it. Yeah it’s a disappointment. There is a level of feeling towards him. It was then that I felt the need to make a change. “
Boone was asked if fan reaction to Hicks contributed to his decision.
“I think it’s all baked into why I made the decision, because it felt like it was affecting me,” he said. “I felt the need to do it.”
Hicks, meanwhile, said he had to catch both fly balls.
“I was on the bench during the game. It’s tough,” Hicks said. “Especially when you just want to produce for the team.
“That’s right. We have to prepare for tomorrow.”
212 batting average with 6 home runs and 36 RBIs. He’s been playing regularly these days after the broken wrist that left fielder Andrew Benintendi suffered last week.
Meanwhile, the Rays continue to secure their spot in the American League East, with the midterm game of the series set for Saturday, 3.5 games behind the No. 1 Yankees.