DJ LeMahieu’s thumb injury puts damper on Yankees’ win over Red Sox


The Yankees picked up another win Saturday night, but it came with another costly injury, as 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 Sancez, who has homered in three straight games — and another from Clint Frazier.

Frazier has been on fire in three games since being recalled from the alternate site in Scranton. He’s 7-for-11 with five extra-base hits, and he added five RBIs on Saturday, highlighting the Yankees’ eighth win in a row over Boston, who have the worst record in the AL.

It was also the Yankees’ fourth consecutive victory, 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.

DJ LeMahieu (left) was forced to leave the game with a sprained left thumb, putting a damper on the Yankees' 11-5 win over the Red Sox in which Gary Sanchez hit another homer.
DJ LeMahieu (left) was forced to leave the game with a sprained left thumb, putting a damper on the Yankees’ 11-5 win over the Red Sox in which Gary Sanchez hit another homer.Robert Sabo (2)

The Yankees have been fine so far.

“It’s a good feeling because trying to play the position of Aaron Judge is not easy,’’ said Frazier, who was in right field Saturday. “I knew last year, whenever I played right field, none of those fans with season tickets came to see me play. They came to see him. He put himself in the position to be the face of baseball. Those are big shoes to fill.’’

And if LeMahieu is out for any length of time, his shoes will be, as well.

LeMahieu was removed before the top of the sixth after suffering the injury in the bottom of the fourth.

He was visited by Aaron Boone and the training staff in the fourth and remained in the game. LeMahieu then grounded out to end the inning and stayed at second base for the top of the fifth, but was replaced by Tyler Wade to start the sixth.

X-rays taken at the Stadium were negative, but LeMahieu also underwent a CT scan and MRI exam to determine the extent of the injury.

“DJ can’t be replaced,’’ said James Paxton, who gave up three runs in five innings.

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.

Frazier crushed a three-run opposite field shot to right in the sixth, as the Yankees went up, 7-3.

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 6¹/₃ innings.

On Saturday, his velocity was better, topping out at 95 mph. The results were mixed.

Paxton whiffed just two against the Sox and said he was working on his mechanics.

Boone said he was pleased with how he worked through the outing.

“I thought he grinded,’’ the manager said. “He made pitches in the fourth and fifth innings when it wasn’t smooth or easy.”

Meanwhile, the Yankees will have to deal with another injury. If they 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).

But just like a year ago, the Yankees have hardly missed a step.

“Adversity keeps coming up and guys keep filling roles,’’ Frazier said. “A lot of people would say they’re hungry to get that opportunity and whenever it happens, it’s going to be hard to take it from some of them.”

This time, Frazier might be one of them.

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