There have been few positives to draw from a lost weekend for the Yankees, but Gio Urshela’s improvement at the plate has been one aspect the skidding team can feel good about heading into the final 12 games of the regular season.
Urshela, who was shifted to shortstop this past week, continued his recent offensive resurgence Sunday, accounting for the Yanks’ lone run with a solo home run in an 11-1 loss to Cleveland at the Stadium.
Urshela has mashed two homers in his past five games and he’s hitting .333 (9-for-27) with a .950 OPS over his last eight appearances since Sept. 12. He previously had collected just four hits in 39 at-bats (.103) in his first dozen games after missing more than three weeks in August with a hamstring injury.
“We’re getting the rhythm of the game. I feel much better every day, and that’s what I’m trying to do, and that’s how I have to keep it,” Urshela said after the game. “At shortstop, I’m thinking the same way. I know I’m playing more shortstop now and I like to play there.”
Aaron Boone decided to move Urshela from third base to short last week to replace struggling Gleyber Torres, who has been shifted to second base. Urshela has not committed an error in his first seven games (six starts) since the position switch.Gio Urshela celebrates his home Sunday.Robert Sabo
Joey Gallo (neck tightness) was out of Sunday’s starting lineup and didn’t play in the blowout loss, but Boone said before the game that the lefty slugger was expected to take swings in the batting cage and “to be an available player” off the bench.
Aaron Judge played center field with Brett Gardner in left and Giancarlo Stanton manning right, where he is more comfortable. Outfielder Estevan Florial was recalled “for extra bench coverage,” Boone added, to replace pitcher Luis Gil, who was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after Saturday’s 11-3 loss.
Gerrit Cole had a rough outing, allowing seven runs on 10 hits in 5 ²/₃ innings. His seven strikeouts, however, moved him into third place in one season in team history with 231, behind only Ron Guidry (248 in 1978) and Jack Chesbro (239 in 1904).
Pitching coach Matt Blake said Jonathan Loaisiga (shoulder) threw off flat ground for the third straight day, and he will do so for three more days beginning Tuesday with a bullpen session possible at the end of the week. … Miguel Andujar (wrist) began a Triple-A rehab assignment on Sunday and went 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI. … Clarke Schmidt was optioned to SWB after the game.