NEW YORK -- Much has changed since the last time Kyle Davies had appeared in a big league game, but as he stood on the mound and stared across those 60 feet and six inches on Sunday night, one thing was just as he remembered it -- Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, waggling his bat in anticipation.
Big Papi was the last batter Davies had faced before Sunday, on July 25, 2011, when he was pitching for the Royals at Fenway Park. Ortiz grounded out in that at-bat more than three years ago, and as Davies made his Yankees debut with a surgically repaired right shoulder, he got the job done again, getting Ortiz to ground out to first base.
"This is why you come to work and you still do it," Davies said. "This is why you did all that stuff and rode the buses in [Class A] and Double-A two years ago. It's pretty cool."
Davies, 31, worked 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief in the Yankees' 14-4 victory over the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. He was signed to a Major League contract earlier in the day and selected from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He spent last season in the Indians' farm system.
"I didn't doubt that I could pitch back up here, but you've got to get the opportunity and have some things fall your way," Davies said. "It's a long road -- it was a long road."
In a corresponding move, the Yankees designated left-hander Matt Tracy for assignment. Tracy, 26, made his big league debut in Saturday's 8-4 loss to Boston, permitting three unearned runs and two hits in two innings of relief.
Davies already claims a footnote in franchise history, having surrendered Alex Rodriguez's 500th home run on Aug. 4, 2007, while with Kansas City. He arrived owning a 5.59 ERA in 151 career big league games (144 starts).
"We know that we have length from him," manager Joe Girardi said. "He's been a starter, was going to start at Triple-A. He's a strike thrower, understands how to pitch at this level. He's pitched at this level, been a starter in the big leagues."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.