Andujar Has Become Game Winner For Yankees

By Rich Mancuso/ Sports Editor

The Yankees bullpen has been their strength and Saturday afternoon in the Bronx it was again though Aroldis Chapman had a minor struggle in the ninth inning to preserve a 5-3 win over the Texas Rangers.  Chapman picked up his 30th save and Lance Lynn in his second start with the Yankees took a no-decision after 5.01 innings.

And this win was possible with the home run ball and again from Giancarlo Stanton. He hit a solo shot in the first inning off losing pitcher Chris Martin that led to a two-run inning. Stanton also played a role in the Yankees two-run  seventh inning that proved to be the game winning runs.

Stanton’s 29th home run was the fourth in his last five games. His single to center in the seventh inning paved the way for another late and big game hit. Rookie Miguel Andujar on a first pitch fastball, and with two outs sent the ball to right-center field.

Credit: Yeng Luciano

Andujar is accustomed to hitting the extra base hit, 33 doubles that lead the American League. This go-ahead two-run homer was the 17th of the season and fourth career go-ahead hit in the seventh inning or later.

And these go ahead hits, late in the game, are becoming a routine for Andujar who has been a difference maker at the plate twice this week. Andujar had an RBI single in the 13th inning at Chicago on Tuesday in the Yankees win over the White Sox.

“ Not only is he a good hitter, he’s a smart hitter,” manager Aaron Boone said about his rookie. “He’s really good with going out there with a plan to get things done.”

The home run was the 50th extra-base hit of the season for Andujar, most among Major League rookies.  He is also the 13th Yankees rookie to collect at least 50 extra base hits in a season.

“Like I always said you have to stick to you plan and find the pitch,” Andujar said through a translator. Regarding his late inning success at the plate, he said “Preparation is the key. Everytime I go up there just do the best I can to help the team.”

The best is coming up big in games. Andujar also with his at bats is rapidly making a case for Rookie of The Year honors along with teammate Gleyber Torres.

“When I go out there , I have a plan and I’m looking to find a good pitch to hit,” said Anjujar. Hit it hard and hit it somewhere. Just stick to that plan.”

“First couple of game playing with him,” Stanton said, “I knew he was capable of doing it.” As soon as Chapman closed it out, Andujar was the first to give the high-five to the closer. But the game winner again was that big hit and late from Miguel Andujar.

He has become a difference maker for the Yankees this season, and a rookie who was not slated to be a part of this roster out of spring training. Now with games down the final stretch, and with the numbers showing, Miguel Andujar has a vital role with the Yankees in their quest to play deep into October.

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