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BOSTON — Zack Britton walked off the field in obvious pain Friday night after throwing just 11 pitches in the Yankees 5-3 loss to the Red Sox. The Bombers’ set-up man seemed to injure his left hamstring.
“We’ll know tomorrow you know we’ll know whether it’s a cramp, whether it’s a strain, whatever but yeah it was in the hamstring area,” Aaron Boone said.
It was just Britton’s fifth appearance this season. He began the year on the injured list after having surgery to remove a bone fragment from his left elbow.
“Hopefully it’s nothing too serious. We’ll have to see but yeah, definitely feel for Britton,” the Yankees manager said. “What he’s been through to get back and I thought tonight probably throwing the ball as well as we’ve seen him I thought he was really crisp. I thought it was coming out really nice. The sink and he threw some good sliders especially to [Rafael Devers] there. So, you know, we’ll see what we have tomorrow, but I certainly feel for him.”
ANDUJAR AND THE MONSTER
The ball clunked off the green wall next to the Jim Beam advertising and just dropped, deadened on the field. Miguel Andujar had reacted expecting it to go to his right, but then just watched it fall. Then he turned back to the infield and waved to outfield coach Reggie Willits to hit another one.
Friday night was the first time the converted infielder was going to be playing left field in front of the notorious Fenway Green Monster. And before the game, he was getting a crash course on its idiosyncrasies.
“It’s unique. Obviously, the one good part is there’s not a lot of ground to cover out there,” Boone said. “Certainly making that read, knowing when to go challenge a play on the wall or when to retreat and try and play that carom. Those are some of the challenges. I know he was out there with Reggie earlier, kind of going over some of the nuanced things. I heard him talking with [Clint Frazier] and [Brett Gardner] earlier. So hopefully he’ll get some live reads and batting practice out there. He was standing out there for early hitting, I think just to see what it looked like off the bat and things like that.
“So there’s certainly some challenges and it’s as unique a place as there is, but you know, hopefully he’ll go out and handle it.”
Andujar did not have the benefit of having the experienced veteran Gardner out there to guide him. Boone went with Aaron Judge in center field and Frazier in right against left-handed Martin Perez, but it wasn’t an easy decision considering the weird dynamics of Fenway.
“Definitely something I considered. And hopefully we’re in a position to get through the middle innings and hopefully we have a lead and Gardy’s back out there and it works out that way,” Boone said. “I feel like Judge has acquitted himself well out there and is just trying to maximize things as we go up against Perez. [Starter Eduardo Rodriguez] is a little bit different on Sunday. ... So we’ll see where we are on Sunday in the way I want to go. But tonight, I felt like this was, to get our righties in their, was the best way to go.”
Judge has played six games in center field this season, five of them at Yankee Stadium and one at Target Field in Minneapolis.
URSHELA UP TO IT
Gio Urshela was back in the lineup on Friday after missing two games with a sore/bruised/swollen shin. The third baseman left Tuesday night’s game against the Royals after being hit in the left shin by a pitch. Boone said Urshela was the one who convinced him he was ready to be back.
“He came out here to hit early, took ground balls and moved around. So we got everyone signing off on it,” Boone said. “And so he’s in there.”
Urshela has hit .273/.317/.442 with a .759 OPS. His impact, however, has been on both sides of the ball. The dropoff in the Yankees defense when he is not on the field compared to when he is, is considerable.
SEVERINO BACK ON THE MOUND
Luis Severino, who had his rehab from March 2020 Tommy John surgery shut down by a groin strain, could be back on a mound by the end of next week.
“He’s been running, he’s been throwing. Possibly by the end of next week, he could potentially be on the mound,” Boone said. “It could be a few days after that, but probably in the next week to 10 days, he could potentially be on the mound.”
Corey Kluber, who is on the 60-day injured list with a shoulder strain, is still playing catch at 75 feet, but with no plans yet to move back or get on a mound.
“He hasn’t advanced. I think he’s been, you know, 75 feet playing catch and really has been doing that since we talked about but hasn’t gone to the next stage where he’s really stretching out as of yet,” Boone said.
Darren O’Day, who is out with a right rotator cuff strain, came through his first minor league rehab appearance Thursday night and is expected to pitch again in the minors on Sunday. Lefty reliever Justin Wilson, who is on the injured list with a hamstring strain, was scheduled to pitch Friday night, not Thursday as the Yankees had initially announced.
“If all goes well with Willie tonight, he’ll pitch again on Sunday too,” Boone said.