Yankees forced to go with unusual lineup in first game of doubleheader with Twins

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Minnesota Twins third baseman Gio Urshela (15) beats the tag of New York Yankees shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa (12) for a stolen base at second during the sixth inning of a baseball game Monday, Sept. 5, 2022, in New York.
AP Photo/Noah K. Murray

The Yankees lineup looked surprisingly thin for the first game of their doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins. Aside from Aaron Judge and a small number of regulars in the lineup, New York’s roster was a bit of a shock for this time of the year. 

The Yanks have dealt with a number of injuries and just recently had to put Anthony Rizzo on the 10-day injured list, Andrew Benintendi also had to recently have surgery on his wrist and Josh Donaldson was placed on paternity leave before Wednesday’s games. 

The unique roster included rookies Oswaldo Cabrera, Oswald Perez and Estevan Florial along with Ronald Guzmán and Miguel Andújar. Despite the lineup, Yankees manager Aaron Boone presented a confident outlook for the unit. 

“Capable guys,” Boone responded when asked about the lineup. “Opportunity knocks. We were in these kinds of situations it felt like a lot back in 2019 and these are guys that are talented players. That have a chance to come up and do something important to help us win these important games. Excited for the opportunity for all of them.”

Things did not start off well for the Yankees, who have seen their once double-digit AL East lead shrink to just a handful of games. Starter Domingo German surrendered a two-run homer in the top of the first of the opening game. 

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The Yankees’ lead going into Wednesday had fallen to just 4.5 games with Tampa Bay nipping at their heals with the Rays slated to arrive in the Bronx later in the week. Injuries have hampered the Yankees’ once-dominant offense and the team’s pitching staff has struggled in the second half of the season allowing the Rays and Toronto Blue Jays to gain ground on the Bombers. 

That was what made Wednesday’s doubleheader lineup so interesting as the Yankees were forced to play who they did while playing a game that has plenty of impact on the team’s postseason hopes. 

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