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Yankees manager Aaron Boone: Banged-up Gio Urshela will only play in an emergency

Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela (29) reacts after

Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela (29) reacts after fouling a ball off his leg during the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NY, on Sunday, Aug 4, 2019. Credit: Brad Penner

BALTIMORE — Gio Urshela declared himself as feeling far “better” Tuesday than Monday, but Aaron Boone wanted to give the banged up third baseman at least one more day off.

“He’s going to come out here and he’ll be a part of BP, if the rain holds off, and he’s going to run a little bit, so we’ll have a better feel of it,” Aaron Boone said before a flash rainstorm a few minutes later ended up canceling all of the Yankees’ pregame work on the field.

Still, all indications were, regardless of how things went for Urshela had he done work on the field, Boone was only going to use him Tuesday night in an emergency situation.

During the same sixth-inning at-bat Sunday night, Urshela twice went to the ground hard. First, he hit a foul ball off his right knee, then a short time later hit one off his left shin.

With both areas in heavy wrap, the 27 year old mostly limped through the clubhouse Monday upon arriving. By Tuesday, the wrapping on the shin was gone while the right knee, which Urshela said Monday hurt worse, remained wrapped. Urshela came into Tuesday on an 11-game hitting streak, going 18-for-44 with three homers, eight doubles, six RBIs and nine runs during that time.

Boone: Home field not a focus yet

The Yankees came into Tuesday 73-39, in a tight race with the Astros (73-40) and Twins (70-42) for the best record in the American League. Boone said home-field advantage isn’t yet on the mind of his team, which has gone 43-18 at the Stadium this season compared to Astros (41-15) and Twins (35-21).

“Of course we feel like we have a tremendous home-field advantage, obviously, playing in Yankee Stadium,” Boone said. “But we’re such in the throes in the grind of this now, I feel like it’s [October] such a long way off. I don’t think we get too caught up in that right now. We’re trying to win games. That’s the goal, that’s the focus and hopefully if we do that well enough, we’ll put ourselves in a great position when that time comes.”

Still going deep

The Yankees hit six more homers Tuesday and have 198, on pace for 283, which would easily beat their season record of 269 last year. The Twins hit four homers Tuesday and lead the majors with 223, on pace for a staggering 319.

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