Gio Urshela grits it out for Yankees after scary dugout catch

BOSTON — Gio Urshela started at third base in Tuesday’s 6-2 loss to the Red Sox in the AL wild-card game after his frightening fall into the dugout during Sunday’s win over Tampa Bay in The Bronx.

After he took grounders at shortstop prior to the Yankees’ wild-card game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, Urshela was in the lineup at third base, with Andrew Velazquez at shortstop.

Prior to the game, Urshela said he felt “really good. I’m good to play.”

He didn’t look it, as he hobbled at third base and while running the bases

Urshela added he still had some bruising, swelling and “a little pain” in his thigh.

“I think I can play through it,’’ Urshela said. “I feel it a little bit, I’m not gonna lie.”

He reached on a dribbler in the second and flied to left in the fifth before striking out to end the top of the seventh.

After making the spectacular catch and crashing into the dugout, it was unclear what kind of shape Urshela would be left in.

Gio Urshela beats out an infield hit against the Red Sox on Tuesday.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

He’s since seen the replay of the play and called it “scary.”

Aaron Boone said that from watching Urshela before the game, he was “not quite 100 percent.”

And he added he “wouldn’t hesitate” to move him to shortstop later in the game if he needed to hit for Velazquez.

“[Urshela] starting at third put [Velazquez] into play,’’ Boone said. “I feel good about the defense we’re running out there.”

Velazquez called the opportunity to start in a wild-card game for the Yankees “incredible.”

“I’m here to help out any way I can,” he said.

Boone said of Velazquez: “Bronx kid. He’s a gamer. He’s living the dream playing for his hometown team. And, obviously, he’s had some big moments for us this year. He’s played well for us. So I didn’t even necessarily have a conversation with him to tell him. He knows he’s on this team and part of this team and ready to go.”

Velazquez was removed for pinch-hitter Rougned Odor to lead off the sixth and Odor struck out. Urshela moved to short in the bottom of the inning.

Luis Severino, a boost to the bullpen over the final two weeks of the regular season — when he pitched six shutout innings in four outings after coming back from Tommy John surgery and multiple setbacks — finally faltered on Tuesday.

He entered in the fifth and pitched a scoreless inning, but allowed an RBI double to Alex Verdugo with one out in the sixth to give the Red Sox an insurance run.

And Jonathan Loaisiga, superb for much of the season, was uncharacteristically wild. He walked three in his lone inning of work, which cost the Yankees a pair of runs in the seventh.

Luis Severino
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Giancarlo Stanton was among those who regretted not being able to play Tuesday’s game at Yankee Stadium, where he might have hit three homers — instead of one.

He said it’s something the team should learn from.

“Understanding each game counts, no matter if it’s March, April, all we needed was one more and we would have had this at home. They come back to bite you.”

Gerrit Cole didn’t record an out in the third inning, but Gary Sanchez still didn’t make an appearance until he led off the top of the eighth, pinch hitting for Kyle Higashioka. Higashioka struck out in both of his at-bats. Boone said he considered pinch-hitting Sanchez for Higashioka in the fifth, but wanted to save him for a spot with a runner on base. … Joey Gallo’s disastrous tenure with the Yankees continued Tuesday, as he went 0-for-4 with a strikeout while hitting cleanup.

Greg Allen and Rob Brantly were added to the Yankees roster for Tuesday’s game.

Allen was added as a bench player and additional pinch-running option with Tyler Wade.

To make room on the roster for Allen and third catcher Brantly, the Yankees designated Andrew Heaney and Brody Koerner for assignment.

Heaney was optioned last week to make room for Loaisiga’s return from the IL and agreed to report to their minor league facility in Tampa after a miserable stint with the Yankees following a trade from the Angels in July.

The left-hander was acquired in exchange for a pair of minor leaguers and pitched poorly as both a starter and reliever while with the Yankees.

Koerner’s contract had just been selected Sunday after Luke Voit was transferred to the 60-day IL with left knee inflammation.


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