Yankees’ little things beyond Rice’s roar: A huge bunt and Soto’s time violation

Yankees' Alex Verdugo flip his bat after hitting a home run against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on July 6, 2024.

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Yankees manager Aaron Boone underscored the importance of “little things” in the team’s decisive 14-4 win over the Boston Red Sox, despite rookie Ben Rice’s historic three-home-run game.

Boone highlighted Alex Verdugo‘s bunt single against left-hander Brennan Bernardino in the fifth inning, calling it a key play that kept the rally alive. This smart bunt came after Aaron Judge‘s single and set up Anthony Volpe’s RBI ground-rule double.

“I thought Dugie’s bunt was huge,” Boone said. “Left on left. Kind of continuing a rally and led to an even bigger inning.” 

The Yankees manager also pointed out the significance of Trent Grisham‘s at-bat, which led to an intentional walk, loading the bases. A bases-loaded walk then brought in the go-ahead run, a crucial moment despite the final 10-run margin.

Boone’s strategic move to pinch-hit Austin Wells for Jose Trevino paid off, as the Yankees backstop worked an eight-pitch walk against former Yankee Greg Weissert. Oswaldo Cabrera followed with a commendable at-bat, battling back from an 0-2 count to hit a sacrifice fly.

DJ LeMahieu added two RBI singles, showcasing the lineup’s balanced offensive effort.

While Boone acknowledged Rice’s standout contribution, he emphasized the collective effort from the entire lineup. This blend of Rice’s power-hitting and strategic at-bats from other players sparked a much-needed offensive breakout for the Yankees, who have struggled recently.

Yankees outfielder Juan Soto was struck out for the second time this season due to a pitch-clock violation during the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox. Manager Aaron Boone explained that although home-plate umpire Alfonso Marquez had granted Soto a timeout, Soto did not return to the batter’s box in time.

Boone suggested that the umpire could have exercised more discretion in the situation but also noted that Soto needed to be more mindful of the clock.

On a positive note for the Yankees, relievers Tim Hill and Josh Maciejewski delivered impressive performances, combining for 4 2/3 scoreless innings while allowing only one hit.

Yankees injury update encouraging

Yankees manager Aaron Boone provided updates on the status of several injured players. Gleyber Torres was out of the starting lineup due to right groin tightness, which flared up during Friday’s game. Boone expressed optimism about Torres’ recovery and anticipated his return for Sunday’s game, with Oswaldo Cabrera stepping in at second base.

Regarding pitcher Scott Effross, Boone reported significant progress in his rehabilitation. Effross, who has been out since 2022 following Tommy John surgery and subsequent back surgery, has pitched in six rehab games. Although showing improvement, Boone noted that Effross still needs considerable time before rejoining the major league roster.

Boone also mentioned that Effross might be called up before he is ready to pitch on consecutive days, a deviation from standard rehab protocols. In other injury news, pitcher Cody Poteet is in the early stages of recovery from a triceps strain suffered on June 12. Boone stated that Poteet has started throwing but has not yet advanced to mound work.

These injury updates underscore the ongoing challenges the Yankees face in keeping their roster healthy throughout the season.

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