BALTIMORE — The Yankees offense has lived up to expectations during the first handful of games, but two key members are still looking for their first hits.
Gary Sanchez and Brett Gardner both went 0-for-4 in Wednesday’s 9-3 win over the Orioles and each has started the year 0-for-12.
While it’s a discouraging start for both batters — and Gardner whiffed four times on Wednesday — it’s probably more so for Sanchez, who hit seventh in the lineup against Baltimore.
“I thought his first couple at-bats were better tonight,’’ manager Aaron Boone said. “He did a better job of being calm and a couple calls didn’t go his way. He may be coming out of his legs a little bit, which is messing with his timing. When he’s controlling things, he should take off.”
Most of the talk in both spring training and spring training 2.0 was about Sanchez’s defense and his new stance behind the plate. But for all his strengths defensively, what sets him apart is typically his bat.
The Yankees will play their first doubleheader of this bizarre season as soon as next week and MLB and the players association are considering the idea of making them a pair of seven-inning games, as The Post’s Joel Sherman confirmed.
One interested party isn’t thrilled about the potential development.
“I like nine and nine [innings], personally,’’ Adam Ottavino said before the gamein a hastily scheduled game at Camden Yards.
Ottavino, one of the Yankees’ most important relievers, doesn’t want to see any games shortened — even if he knows why it’s a potential reality.
“I think I don’t want to be marginalized out of the game,’’ Ottavino said. “Once we have seven-inning games, it’s a slippery slope there and then there are no relief pitchers.”
Ottavino wasn’t entirely serious, his job and role won’t be in jeopardy anytime soon, but it would certainly alter the dynamics of the game. In 2020, though, those dynamics have almost completely gone out the window.
“I understand the point of it,’’ Ottavino said. “It makes it a little less taxing on everyone. We’re just in adapt mode to whatever the situation is and take it head on.”
Gleyber Torres went hitless — with a walk — in his first game of the year against the Orioles after dominating them in 2019, when he hit 13 homers in 18 games — the most by any player versus a single opponent in one season since the divisional era began in 1969.
“It was pretty remarkable,’’ Boone said of Torres’ success against the woeful Orioles a year ago. “But that’s over with now. We’ve got new challenges and he’s got new challenges now. Hopefully he continues to be that impact player we know he is. But it was remarkable.”
Lou Gehrig hit 14 homers versus Cleveland in 1936 for the all-time mark.
Torres also had five multi-homer games against Baltimore — an MLB record against an opponent.
With J.A. Happ pitching Thursday, Boone said Jordan Montgomery would make his first start of the year on Friday, with Masahiro Tanaka to follow on Saturday.after Tanaka recovered from the concussion he suffered during spring training 2.0 when he was hit in the head by a Giancarlo Stanton line drive.
James Paxton, who lasted just one-plus inning in his season debut, will go Sunday.
Right-hander Brooks Kriske made his MLB debut and the 26-year-old tossed a scoreless ninth in the win.
Mike Ford got his first start of the season and went 0-for-2 with a sacrifice fly. Boone said he had hoped to get the lefty-swinging Ford into the lineup against the Phillies, but that series was canceled and Ford — like the rest of his teammates — got some unscheduled days off.
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