Aaron Hicks’ night went from bad to worse to benched on Friday at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees left fielder was pulled from their game against the Rays to start the fifth inning after making a pair of defensive misplays in the fourth inning and enduring the wrath of a boisterous home crowd.
Estevan Florial replaced Hicks in left field, and when the move was announced to the crowd, it was met with cheers.
Hicks struck out in his two at-bats, and heard boos after stranding a pair of runners in the third inning, but his troubles were only beginning.
With one out and runners on first and second in the fourth inning, Rays star Wander Franco hit a fly ball to left field. Hicks ran over to track it down, but dropped the ball just as he got to the foul line before using the wall to stop himself. Seemingly thinking the ball was foul, Hicks was slow to pick it up as both Rays scored and Franco reached on a double for the 3-0 lead.
Boos rained down on Hicks in addition to a brief “Joey Gallo” chant in left field.
Randy Arozarena came up next and hit a line drive over the head of Hicks, who got turned around as the ball fell for a double that put the Rays up 4-0.
Hicks had lost his Everyday job last month after the arrival of Andrew Benintendi, but recent injuries to Benintendi and a slew of other Yankees led to him getting back in the lineup more regularly – as the No. 3 hitter, no less, on Friday night.
While Hicks had briefly gotten back in the fans’ good graces earlier this week – he hit a three-run double on Wednesday and another double Thursday to extend a ninth-inning rally – that good will quickly run out on Friday night.