#Yankees’ Gio Urshela exits game after stiffening up in ninth

#Yankees’ Gio Urshela exits game after stiffening up in ninth

Gio Urshela, who has had leg issues throughout much of the season, was forced to leave Tuesday when he stiffened up in the ninth inning of the Yankees’ 6-5 loss to the Royals Tuesday night at the Stadium after he was hit by a pitch earlier in the game.

Urshela led off the ninth with a single and was replaced by Andujar as a pinch runner. Aaron Boone said “we’ll see” when asked if Urshela would be OK for Wednesday’s game.

Gio Urshela is hit by a pitch in the seventh inning of the Yankees' 6-5 loss to the Royals.
Gio Urshela is hit by a pitch in the seventh inning of the Yankees’ 6-5 loss to the Royals.
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Even with catcher Gary Sanchez on a tear as the Yankees’ hottest hitter of late, Boone stuck with Kyle Higashioka behind the plate with Gerrit Cole on the mound Tuesday.

Boone said he thought about starting Sanchez, despite Cole’s comfort with Higashioka, to take advantage of Sanchez’s offense.

“There’s definitely that consideration,’’ Boone said before the game.

Monday’s day off was part of the thought process, but Boone opted to keep Cole and Higashioka together. Boone floated the idea of starting Sanchez both on Wednesday and Thursday, though Thursday is a day game after a night game.

Higashioka hit a solo home run Tuesday in three at-bats. Sanchez pinch hit for Higashioka in the eighth and grounded out before being intentionally walked in the ninth.

“If everything goes well [Wednesday], I’ll probably push through with [Sanchez] back-to-back and then on through the weekend in Boston,’’ Boone said. “I love where Gary’s at right now.”

DJ LeMahieu had another multi-hit game and homered for the second time in four games.

Luis Severino did agility drills on the outfield grass in a light rain prior to Tuesday’s game. His return from Tommy John surgery was pushed back because of the strained groin he suffered during his second rehab start.

Boone said Zack Britton (sore elbow) and Aroldis Chapman (nail) were fine physically. Neither pitched Tuesday.

Righty reliever Darren O’Day (strained rotator cuff) and lefty reliever Justin Wilson (hamstring) each pitched a scoreless inning in their first rehab games for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

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