Eduardo Nunez has been in the big leagues for three days now. He showed up Thursday afternoon, made his major league debut Thursday night and got in as a defensive replacement on Friday.
Before his first big league start, Nunez got some advice from the Yankees captain.
“I told him to cut his hair,” Derek Jeter said. “He had that mohawk. I said, ‘Get rid of that and you’ll be alright.’”
“He’s so nice,” Nunez said.
Maybe the haircut did the trick. Nunez’s first major league hit — he’s fifth Yankee to get his first big league hit this season — stood as the game winner, scoring Austin Kearns and sparking a three-run seventh inning. When he got to first base, Nunez pumped his fist to the Yankees bench, where every player had come to the front of the dugout to cheer. When the ball came in from the outfield, Nunez kissed it before it was sent for safe keeping.
“I’ll give it to my mom,” Nunez said. “I was so excited. I don’t know what I did.”
The Yankees will remember. With Alex Rodriguez heading for the disabled list, Joe Girardi said right now the plan is to stick with Nunez and Ramiro Pena at third. Girardi could have pinch-hit Brett Gardner for that seventh-inning at-bat, but he said he was happy with Nunez’s at-bats earlier in the game.
“I know how nerve wracking it is to be a rookie and trying to get your first hit and make a good impression on your teammates,” Mark Teixeira said. “He did all of it in one swing.”
Associated Press photo of Jeter and Nunez