Puig goes deep as Dodgers earn split

Larry Fleisher, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig ended his first postgame interview inside the visitor's clubhouse at Yankee Stadium by exclaiming "pow."
That was appropriate because it seemed anytime he put a ball in play, his bat generated the same sound.
Puig went 4-for-9 in Wednesday's doubleheader and highlighted his first appearance in New York with a solo home run in the nightcap as the Dodgers salvaged a split of a doubleheader against the New York Yankees with a 6-0 victory.
The Yankees won the afternoon game 6-4.
The right-handed-hitting Puig recorded his 10th multi-hit game, reaching that mark with a long opposite-field solo home run on a first-pitch slider from Adam Warren leading off the seventh inning.
That gave him 27 hits in his first 15 games, and according to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the fifth player since 1900 to collect at least that many hits in his first 15 games. The record of 28 is shared by Irv Waldron (1901 Milwaukee Brewers) and Bo Hart (2003 St. Louis Cardinals). Yankees Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio (1936) and Terry Pendleton (1984 Cardinals) each had 27 hits through 15 games.
That performance is hardly surprising for manager Don Mattingly, who has seen Puig take the team by storm with his bat since being promoted on June 3.
"Not anymore," Mattingly said. "He just keeps doing it. He has just a unique set of tools. ... He hits the ball so hard. It's not really surprising."
It also didn't sound stunning to the Yankees, who never made him an offer when he became available.
"He's the real deal," New York first baseman Lyle Overbay said. "He squared up every ball except one. Even that one, the last one, he hit pretty good, he was out in front, but he's impressive."
"You see that's he an aggressive young player," manager Joe Girardi said after game one. "He has tools, a lot of tools. He has speed, he has power. He has a good arm and you recognize the tools right away. We saw it in the first inning what he was able to do. This is a game of adjustments as people see you go around the league the first time but there's an awful lot to like about this kid."
Puig's performance in the nightcap came after he struck out looking in his first at-bat against Mariano Rivera for the final out of a 6-4 loss in the opener that saw the Dodgers tie a season high by making four errors.
"I felt so happy to face the best, not only the best pitcher in the league but the best closer," Puig said through an interpreter. "I wanted a base hit off him but he beat me like he beat everybody in the big leagues."
Puig's showing was part of a strong performance from the middle of the Los Angeles lineup. Puig, Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier were a combined 9-for-17 in the second game and 16-for-32 in the doubleheader.
Ramirez had four hits in the opener and was 6-for-8 with four RBI. Ramirez and Puig combined for 10 hits in 17 at-bats Wednesday.
"He's a great hitter," Gonzalez said of Ramirez. "He's got power and he's a guy you definitely want in the lineup. It's great that he's back in there doing what he does."
Chris Capuano (2-4) returned from the disabled list and held the Yankees to three singles over six innings while making his first start in three weeks. He threw 84 pitches and ended his outing by striking out three of the final four hitters.
"I had pretty good command of the fastball and I was just trying to keep it down," Capuano said. "It had a lot of movement on it so even though I didn't locate it, I had pretty good movement on it and I was able to get ground balls."
The Yankees lost for the seventh time in 12 games by getting a subpar start from Phil Hughes (3-6). The right-hander allowed five runs and a season-high 10 hits in six innings.
"I felt like early on my fastball was kind of leaking over the middle of the plate, but it was down so you saw a lot of ground-ball base hits and stuff like that," Hughes said. "There comes a point in every game that's kind of the turning point in the game.
"Two runs is fine. Three runs, you feel like you can get back from that. But after five you start pressing a little bit. I just really couldn't find a rhythm and locate pitches when I needed to."
NOTES: Between games, OF Alex Castellanos was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque to make room for Capuano. ... After a three-hit game in the opener, Yankees OF Ichiro Suzuki remained in the starting lineup, this time in left field. It was his eighth start there this season. ... New York SS Derek Jeter took on-field batting practice for first time since returning to the team's minor-league complex in Tampa, Fla. He hit balls to all fields while taking 21 swings. ... Jason Kidd threw out the ceremonial first pitch a week after being named head coach of the Brooklyn Nets.

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