Gio Urshela propels Yankees after taking bat to the eye

Gio Urshela’s day at the plate began by taking a piece of his bat to the eye.

It ended by keeping his bat in one piece and using it to crush a baseball 424 feet, lifting the Yankees to victory.

Urshela delivered a solo blast in the eighth inning to key a Yankees’ comeback that turned a three-run deficit into a 7-5 win over the Athletics on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

DJ LeMahieu added a two-run single for some extra breathing room later in the inning — which the Yankees ended up needing — but it was Urshela who took Jesus Luzardo deep to put them ahead 5-4. It was their first lead of the game after trailing 4-1 through five innings.

Aroldis Chapman gave a run back in the top of the ninth, shortly after manager Aaron Boone was ejected for arguing balls and strikes, but recovered to record his 15th save of the season.

The Yankees (37-33) won for the fourth time in five games, using a late-inning comeback each time. They began the week 3-22 when trailing after six innings but ended Saturday 7-23 in that category after late rallies also keyed a three-game sweep of the Blue Jays before the Yankees came home to host the A’s (44-28).

Gary Sanchez got the comeback started in the sixth inning against starter Chris Bassitt, when he hit his fifth home run in the last nine games to cut the deficit to 4-2.

Starting for the first time since last Sunday, Clint Frazier roped a pair of doubles to lead off the fifth and seventh innings. He was stranded in the fifth but came around to score in the seventh on a two-out single by Aaron Judge that cut the Yankees’ deficit to 4-3 against reliever Burch Smith.

Sanchez then drew a walk before Giancarlo Stanton, facing new reliever Yusmeiro Petit, slapped a single the other way to score Judge and tie the game 4-4.

Chad Green struck out the side in the top of the eighth before the Yankees went ahead.

Gio Urshela points to his eye after Saturday's incident.
Gio Urshela points to his eye after Saturday’s incident.
Bill Kostroun/New York Post

Coming off his worst start of the season — giving up seven runs and 10 hits in 4 ¹/₃ innings against the Phillies on Sunday — Domingo German was better but still couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning. He gave up four runs over four-plus innings, including two more home runs, leaving with a 4-1 deficit.

The Yankees cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the inning thanks to Urshela. The third baseman, who appeared to have a splinter from his bat catch him in the eye in the second inning, lined an RBI single to score Judge and make it a 2-1 game.

But German was knocked out of the game in the top of the fifth. He did not record an out, loading the bases on two singles and a walk before Matt Olson ripped a two-run single for the 4-1 lead.

Nestor Cortes relieved German and stranded runners on the corners, the first of three scoreless innings he tossed to keep the Yankees within striking distance.

Leave a Comment