Colin Curtis knew he’d have to share time in the lineup. The rookie just never figured he’d have to share time at an at-bat.
That’s exactly what happened yesterday when Brett Gardner was tossed in the seventh inning with an 0-2 count for arguing balls and strikes. The Yankees needed a pinch hitter and a little more insurance against the Angels.
Curtis provided both by smashing a three-run home run that put the finishing touches on a 10-6 win.
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“I think it’s kind of tough to describe, you hit it, you see it go out and it’s the first one of your career in a big situation,” Curtis said. “I was really excited I was kind of running around trying to hold back a big smile.”
When he stepped into the box, the Yankees had nearly blown a six-run lead and were only up, 7-5. Curtis, a fourth-round pick in 2006 who was called up last month, took three straight pitches before belting his first career long ball.
“He’s had a ton of big hits for us without a lot of starts, and that’s not easy for a young man who is used to playing [regularly],” manager Joe Girardi said. “You come in that situation 0-2 and for him to be able to hit a home run — that’s some kind of at-bat.”