Hinske doubles up in marathon debut

MIKE GANTER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:24 AM ET

Four years removed from his rookie-of-the-year campaign with the Blue Jays, Eric Hinske was back in the limelight yesterday.

The 29-year-old had to be feeling like a rookie again as he made his Red Sox debut in the first game of a pivotal five-game series between the Sox and New York Yankees.

Hinske, obtained Thursday from the Jays along with cash for a player to be named later, looked immediately comfortable in his new surroundings, doubling in his first three at-bats against Yankees starter Chien-Ming Wang in the first game of a day/night double-header.

His three doubles matched a career high.

Starting in right field in place of the injured Trot Nixon in Game 1, Hinske finished the game 3-for-4 at the plate with a strikeout. He also lost a ball in the sun in the ninth inning.

Any personal satisfaction in his debut was offset by the one-sided 12-4 loss his new club suffered in the afternoon match.

Things didn't get better for the Sox in the second game and actually got worse for Hinske.

In the evening tilt, a 14-12 Yankees win, Hinske got the start at first base and went 0-for-3 before being replaced by pinch-hitter Mike Lowell in the 7th.

That game took 4:45 to play making it the longest nine-inning game in major league history.

Hinske received a standing ovation at each at-bat in the first game and often when he took the field. "I've never been a part of anything like that," he said.

Hinske spent the better part of the season with the Jays as a bench player. He began the year as the left-handed hitting portion of a right-field platoon with Alex Rios before Rios took the position over.

The Jays will assume half of Hinske's 2007 salary, a total of $2.8-million,but overall stand to save $3.9-million toward next season's payroll.


Videos

Photos