“#DJ LeMahieu’s thumb injury puts damper on Yankees’ win over Red Sox”
August 15, 2020 | 10:37pm
DJ Lemahieu left Saturday’s 11-5 victory over the reeling Red Sox with a sprained left thumb suffered on an awkward swing.
So far, though, nothing has slowed the Yankees’ offense.
On Saturday, they belted three homers — including one from Gary Sanchez, who’s homered in three straight games — and another from Clint Frazier.
Frazier has been on fire since being recalled from the alternate site in Scranton. He’s 7-for-11 with five extra-base hits and added five RBIs on Saturday, highlighting the Yankees’ eighth win in a row over Boston.
It was also the Yankees’ fourth consecutive victory overall, but they were forced to deal with another blow to an offense that’s already sent Aaron Judge (right calf) and Giancarlo Stanton (left hamstring) to the IL.
Frazier, Mike Tauchman and others have made up for the absence of Judge and Stanton. It remains to be seen how long the Yankees will have to be without LeMahieu and how they’ll contend with that loss.
LeMahieu was removed before the top of the sixth after suffering the injury in the bottom of the fourth.
He was visited by manager Aaron Boone and the training staff in the fourth and remained in the game. He grounded out to end the inning and stayed at second base for the top of the fifth, but he was replaced by Tyler Wade to start the sixth. Of course, Wade had an RBI double in the sixth.
Gio Urshela provided an early 2-0 lead with an opposite-field shot off Nathan Eovaldi in the first.
James Paxton gave that lead back in the third, when he allowed a two-run single to J.D. Martinez. Xander Bogaerts followed with a solo shot to give Boston a 3-2 lead.
Like most leads for the Red Sox this season, it didn’t last long.
Sanchez took Eovaldi deep to left in the fourth.
After Paxton survived five innings — allowing just the three runs — he was replaced by Jonathan Loaisiga, who tossed a scoreless sixth.
The Yankees then pounded Eovaldi in the bottom of the inning, as Gleyber Torres led off with a single, Tauchman followed with a double. Sanchez struck out, but Frazier crushed a three-run opposite field shot to right, as the Yankees went up, 7-3.
A Brett Gardner double finally chased Eovaldi. With Wade at the plate for the first time, Gardner stole third and Wade doubled through a drawn-in infield for an RBI single.
On the mound, Paxton was trying to build on his best start of the year last Sunday at Tampa Bay, when he struck out 11 and gave up three earned runs in 6 ¹/₃ innings.
On Saturday, his velocity was better, topping out at 95 mph. The results were mixed.
“One of the messages to him going into that [previous] start was: no matter what the velocity is, his fastball plays and he can still not only get outs, but be dominant at the big league level,’’ Boone said before the game. “Now, hopefully gradually the velocity will return, but he showed he can go out and dominate with the stuff [he has] right now.”
Paxton gave up three runs on six hits and a walk and struck out two Saturday.
If the Yankees are without LeMahieu for any length of time, it will be a serious blow. Even after going 0-for-3 Saturday, LeMahieu was hitting .411 (30-for-73).
He’d also hit safely in each of his previous eight games, as well as 11 of 12. And LeMahieu had reached base in 13-of-20 plate appearances over his previous four games.
The second baseman had been just as valuable as he was last season, his first in The Bronx. And though the Yankees pride themselves on their depth, they’ve seen three valuable offensive weapons go down.
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