The fleeting moment has stuck with Aaron Boone. Last spring, in a spellbinding game at Yankee Stadium against the Boston Red Sox, third baseman Miguel Andujar turned to Boone, the Yankees’ manager, with the wonder of a rookie who had finally, truly made it.
“You could feel the environment, you could feel the crowd,” Boone said before batting practice Friday. “And Andujar said, ‘This is the big leagues.’”
Andujar is injured now, but with the Yankees this season, it hardly matters. His replacement, the indomitable Gio Urshela, singled and doubled off Chris Sale on Friday night as the Yankees won, 4-1, to shove the Red Sox eight and a half games behind them in the American League East.
The Yankees were 6-9 and the Red Sox 6-11 when the teams began a two-game series in the Bronx in mid-April. Since then, the Yankees are a staggering 31-10. The Red Sox have improved, too, but will fall to .500 if they lose again on Saturday. They have struggled to replace the injured Nathan Eovaldi in their rotation, and their bullpen has been taxed.