OAKLAND, Calif. — Gio Urshela is back with the Yankees after straining his left hamstring nearly a month ago.
The Yankees activated the third baseman from his rehab assignment with Double-A Somerset prior to Thursday’s game against the Athletics. Jonathan Davis was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after Tuesday’s win over the Braves, which opened up a roster spot for Urshela.
Urshela suffered the injury against the Rays on July 29. He pinch-hit in each of the next two games, at Miami, before the Yankees placed him on the injured list.
Urshela, who went 1-for-4 in the Yankees’ 7-6 win over the A’s, was initially expected back during the Yankees’ previous road trip more than two weeks ago, either in Kansas City or Chicago, but he had a setback while going through drills that delayed his return.
In Urshela’s absence, the Yankees used DJ LeMahieu (until a triceps injury limited him to second base), Tyler Wade and Rougned Odor at third. Wade and Andrew Velazquez played shortstop because Gleyber Torres has been sidelined with a strained left thumb since Aug. 8.
Torres is working out with Double-A Somerset and could begin a rehab assignment early next week, manager Aaron Boone said.
If that goes well, Boone added, Torres should be back with the Yankees by the time they open their next homestand on Sept. 3.
Torres is having the worst season of his career, although was hitting well in the week leading up to his injury.
Urshela hasn’t been as productive at the plate this season as he was a year ago, but he was in the midst of an excellent two-month stretch in which he had an OPS of .836 prior to his IL stint.
“He’s been such a productive two-way player for us,’’ Boone said of Urshela.
Luke Voit was out of the starting lineup Thursday, with Anthony Rizzo at first base and Giancarlo Stanton at DH, despite Voit having 11 RBIs in his previous five starts.
Boone said Voit would likely be in the lineup for the next three games in Oakland, but called Thursday “the most logical way to go,” with right-hander James Kaprielian on the mound for the A’s.
Right-hander Brody Koerner was outrighted off the major league roster and onto the Triple-A roster. He had been optioned last week after making two appearances out of the bullpen for the Yankees.
Koerner has made two appearances with the Yankees, most recently throwing a scoreless inning against the Twins last Friday.
The Yankees went into their four-game series against the A’s having swept their previous four series — including a victory in a makeup game against the Angels. They also swept three game-series versus Boston and Minnesota, as well as the two-game set in Atlanta on the current trip.
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