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Gio Urshela celebrates with Miguel Andujar (backwards) road greys

Gio Urshela celebrates with Miguel Andujar (backwards) road greys

Gio Urshela was out of the Yankees’ starting lineup Friday in Baltimore as he continues to deal with some knee swelling, but when called upon in the top of the seventh, Urshela delivered the biggest hit of the night for the Bombers.

With the Yankees trailing 4-2 with two runners on and one out, manager Aaron Boone sent Urshela to the plate, and he delivered with a pinch-hit, three-run home run to right-center off of Travis Lakins to put the Yankees up for good, giving them the 5-4 lead.

Urshela saw nine pitches in the at-bat and fouled off five before hitting a hanging cutter over the wall.

“Off the bench or not, it was just one of those really good at-bats,” Boone said. “Obviously in a huge spot in the game, down a couple of runs with runners out there. To foul off the number of pitches, I don’t know how many pitches it ended up being in the at-bat, and then really just absolutely get into one, it was just a big-time at-bat by a really good player. Glad I had that sitting over there tonight as a weapon, obviously.

“I was confident that he could be a player for us tonight, and he was ready to go. He did all of his pre-work to get ready for that at-bat and went up there and put a very special at-bat on them.”

The only other offense on the night for the Yankees came from Aaron Judge, who launched two home runs of his own, but even Judge was in awe of Urshela being able to come in cold off the bench and deliver in the clutch.

“That was the type of at-bat I expect out of Gio day in and day out. That’s what he’s done his whole career, is had big at-bats,” Judge said. “He battled off some tough pitches. That was what we needed, especially [because] a situation like that’s tough, coming off the bench, you haven’t been in the game, haven’t been in the flow seeing pitches, but a guy like Gio, he’s always locked in and ready to roll. He was able to barrel one up and give us the lead.

“That was the swing of the night right there.”

The Yankees feature some of the biggest names in the sport in their clubhouse, from Judge to Gerrit Cole to Giancarlo Stanton to Aroldis Chapman to Gleyber Torres – the list goes on and on.

But Urshela isn’t a player who came to New York with a lot of fanfare, yet all he’s done is deliver time and time again for the Yankees.

“He’s a really good player. That’s all we’ve ever seen from him,” Boone said. “When we saw him for the first time and were around him in spring training in ‘19, I remember just right away how impressive he was in that spring offensively and defensively, and he hasn’t stopped.

“I think that’s a good way of putting it, he has been an absolute glue guy for us. He’s hit everywhere in the order for us, he’s gotten a ton of big hits, and obviously he’s special defensively as well.”