Clint Frazier’s time with the Yankees has been filled with ups and downs, prompting him to wonder if this latest recall to the big leagues would offer a chance to contribute. The way he’s swinging the bat, the Yankees can’t envision taking him out of the lineup.
Frazier tied his career high with five RBIs, contributing a double, a three-run homer, a two-run single and a diving catch in right field as the Yankees reached the one-third mark of the regular season with an 11-5 rout of the Red Sox on Saturday evening at Yankee Stadium.
“I’ve had a few years of getting in reps and getting the opportunity to play,” Frazier said. “I feel comfortable coming into this role. It’s only a few at-bats, but I’m satisfied with how I feel right now.”
Gary Sánchez homered for the third time in as many games and Gio Urshela also went deep as the Yanks posted their eighth straight win over the Red Sox — their longest such winning streak since 1985. New York has won 13 of the last 14 games between the rivals since July 28, 2019, and is off to its best 20-game start overall since 2003 (17-3).
Frazier was patrolling right field in place of Aaron Judge, who is on the 10-day injured list with a strained right calf. Judge could be joined on the IL by infielder DJ LeMahieu, who sustained a sprained left thumb on Saturday and was sent for imaging tests, including a CT scan and an MRI.
“We’ll absorb it,” manager Aaron Boone said. “Any time you lose guys of that caliber, it’s not a good thing, but the expectations in that room never change.”
The three homers were hit off Nathan Eovaldi, who surrendered eight runs and nine hits to his former club over 5 1/3 innings. Tyler Wade, who replaced LeMahieu at second base, added a run-scoring double off Heath Hembree that was charged to Eovaldi.
Frazier appeared on the Yankees’ Opening Day roster but was optioned to the club’s alternate training site in Moosic, Pa., during the first week of the season. Behind closed doors, Frazier asked Boone and general manager Brian Cashman if he had a role on the team, which appeared to be stocked with outfield talent.
Boone and Cashman encouraged Frazier to bring a positive attitude to the Triple-A ballpark, with Boone mentioning that Frazier would be “a play away” from returning to the Majors. That proved prescient during the season’s third week, as Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have been shelved by injuries.
“I tried to keep a good head on my shoulders while I was down at the alternate site, and not take for granted the reps that I was given there,” Frazier said. “Overall, I wasn’t pouting, because I was preparing to play for a team — whenever or whoever that was. I took it serious down there.”