He hopes to build on that effort and help the underachieving Yankees salvage a split of their four-game series with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Wang, called up from Triple-A Columbus to fill the rotation spot of injured right-hander Jaret Wright, didn’t take long to endear himself to Yankees fans Saturday. He allowed two runs and six hits over seven strong innings, helping New York end a three-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over Toronto.
Reliever Tom Gordon gave up a tying homer in the eighth inning, denying Wang his first big league win, but the 25-year-old Taiwanese right-hander impressed his more experienced teammates.
“He was so poised out there, especially here at the Stadium,” Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez said. “It was a nice lift, and hopefully it can bring some energy here for a while.”
Wang didn’t notice anything significant about the effort.
“This is, in my opinion, my typical performance,” he said in Mandarin, through a translator. “I did feel a little bit sort of loss of control on the ball, especially when it was raining pretty hard.”
Wang watched fellow rookie Sean Henn, making an emergency start for Randy Johnson (groin), last just 2 1-3 innings in Wednesday’s 11-8 loss to Tampa Bay — New York’s second straight defeat since opening the series with a 6-2 victory Monday.
The Yankees are six games under .500 for the first time since July 19, 1995, when they were 34-40.
“We’re just not playing good. There’s really nothing else you can say,” captain Derek Jeter said. “We’re not doing the job, bottom line.”
The Devil Rays, just one game behind New York for fourth place in the AL East, scored 22 runs in their first consecutive victories over the Yankees in almost two years.
Rookie Damon Hollins led the way Wednesday, going 3-for-3 with a solo homer and four RBIs.
“Hitting is contagious,” Hollins said. “You know you’ve got to score a lot of runs against those guys and just kind of keep pounding them. That’s what we did tonight.”