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Aroldis Chapman says he's ready to go after getting a few days off

Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman delivers a pitch

Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals during the ninth inning of a baseball game at Yankee Stadium on July 29. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

CHICAGO – After being unavailable Monday and Tuesday night, Aroldis Chapman was good to go Wednesday.

“I’m ready,” Chapman said through his translator before the game. “I feel much better.”

Chapman felt general soreness after throwing 39 pitches in the ninth-inning of his implosion Sunday night at Fenway Park, an outing in which he allowed three runs after entering with a 4-1 lead. The Yankees went on to lose in 10 innings.

Chapman spent much of Tuesday’s game, a 4-3 victory in 13 innings, inside getting treatment. Some of that was on his back, but the reliever said that was a byproduct of the outing and not a specific issue with his back.

“My back is fine, it’s just overall being sore from the amount of pitches from Sunday,” said Chapman, who had recorded saves in 22 straight games before blowing Sunday’s opportunity. “Before that I had about five days without pitching in a game. When that happens, it takes a little longer to recuperate. If you’re in there every other day it’s easier to recuperate.”

Day off for Didi

Aaron Boone had already planned to give shortstop Didi Gregorius Wednesday off but Tuesday night’s game lasting 13 innings sealed the deal.

“Especially after the long one yesterday,” Boone said. “Playing as demanding a position as he plays, before the off day he was one of the guys that played both games of the last doubleheader we had (July 28 against Kansas City). So just knowing I have to steal him a day at some point, obviously with the late night flight tonight (back to New York), I felt like today was a good day.”

Gleyber Torres filled in, making his second start at short this season.

Happ ready to go

J.A. Happ hasn’t had any setbacks in his recovery from hand, foot and mouth disease and Boone said the lefthander is more than ready to come off the DL Thursday to start against the Rangers.

“I talked to him actually on the way over here,” Boone said. “Threw his bullpen yesterday. He’s been feeling good for several days now, so he’s been able to work out, he’s just really excited to get back with the team.

Bird struggling again

Greg Bird looked like he was finding his rhythm during the month of July when he raised his batting average from .196 to a high of .237 on July 28. But this month the first baseman is 3-for-29, including 1-for-5 on Wednesday. His single in the ninth inning snapped an 0-for-20 skid.

“I don’t think he’s far off,” Boone said before the game. “Maybe just a little bit off, but I don’t really see much to think he’s not real close to clicking again.”

Engel robs HRs from Yanks

White Sox centerfielder Adam Engel made spectacular plays back-to-back nights, first robbing Bird of a home run on Monday and then Kyle Higashioka of one on Tuesday.

“Terrific plays,” Boone said with a smile before Wednesday’s game, “but I’m not a big fan of it, though.”

New York Sports