Remember the name Roenis Elias because he’s had the near-perfect start to his rookie year in MLB after pitching the Seattle Mariners to victory over the Yankees in their own backyard.
Elias had never pitched at Yankee Stadium so a few nerves were expected from the 25-year-old Cuban, but he remain composed to concede just two runs (one earned) over seven innings in their 4-2 win.
Speaking to MLB.com via an interpreter, Elias said: “Nothing [phased me]. Nothing at all. It’s just baseball. It was good to beat the Yankees. I’d seen them on TV but I’d never been here. It’s not only the stadium but the team.”
Elias was playing double-A baseball player last year with the Jackson Generals, so the step up in baseball was monumental in front of 43,121 Yankee fans.
The 25-year-old has an impressive 3.09 ERA with 31 strikeouts in 35 innings. Elias has a handy record of 2-2 from five games for the Mariners this season having made his debut last month.
His performance overshadowed Robinson Cano’s return to New York, who hit a double and two RBIs in only his second game at the Bronx.
Cano, 31, signed for the Seattle Mariners last December on a 10-year $240 million contract from the Yankees. The Dominican is a five time MLB all-star and was crowned a World Series champion in 2006.
He was met with boos from the home fan who once cheered his name when he stepped up to the plate in the first innings but Cano silenced them with an RBI double.
The Yankees returned the favour in the first thanks to a leadoff homer from Ellsbury, his first for the Yankees.
But Elias wasn’t phased by the set back and was able to strike out Derek Jeter, Carlos Beltran and Alfonso Soriano.
That sequence of play set the Mariners on their way who have now won five of their last six games after coming off the end of an eight-game losing streak. Seattle sit on 12-14 while the Yankees fell to 15-12.
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