Clint Frazier’s ‘bad’ mistake dims breakout homer

Clint Frazier hit his first homer of the season and added a double, but he also became the latest Yankee to make a baserunning mistake.

BALTIMORE — Clint Frazier hit his first homer of the season and added a double, but he also became the latest Yankee to make a baserunning mistake, when he was thrown out at third trying to advance on a grounder to short.

“It can’t happen,’’ Frazier said after the Yankees beat the Orioles, 7-0, at Camden Yards. “It was a bad baserunning mistake. I joked with a few guys I hadn’t been out there in a while and I was excited to get to this. It’s not gonna happen again.”

The blunder came on the heels of Aaron Judge being thrown out at third in the eighth inning of Monday’s loss to the Orioles.

Bench coach Carlos Mendoza and first base coach Reggie Willits spoke to Frazier after the play and Aaron Boone said he wants players to “make sure you’re ready and anticipating… There’s a fine line between playing aggressive and not being fearful of making a mistake.”

Frazier was relieved to have finally hit a home run, a shot to left in the eighth inning.

“I really needed it,’’ Frazier said. “I’m happy to be on the board.”

Gary Sanchez sat for a second straight game, with Kyle Higashioka set to catch three out of four games, according to Boone.

Higashioka supplanted Sanchez as the starter Tuesday and homered in the win. He was behind the plate again Wednesday, but Sanchez will be back in the lineup Thursday (a day game at Camden Yards), with Higashioka set to catch Gerrit Cole in The Bronx on Friday. Sanchez is “likely’’ for Saturday’s day game.

“We’ll continue to see where it takes us,’’ Boone said. “I look at it as both are gonna play. I’ll just weigh it each time through.”

The decision is pretty simple these days. Higashioka entered Wednesday trailing just Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge for the Yankees lead with four homers on the season and has continued to win praise for his defense.

But Boone hasn’t given up on Sanchez.

“I feel like it’s in there for him to unlock and have an impactful season for us,’’ Boone said.

For now, though, they’ll ride Higashioka, who guided Corey Kluber and Domingo German to excellent starts Tuesday and Wednesday. He also made a terrific sliding catch of a Pedro Severino foul pop near the backstop Wednesday.

Boone said left-hander Wandy Peralta, acquired from the Giants in the trade of Mike Tauchman on Tuesday, is expected to be available out of the bullpen Thursday. The Yankees optioned Michael King after he tossed two shutout innings Wednesday, which opens up a roster spot for Peralta. King has thrown 11 scoreless innings in three appearances this season.

Bullpen coach Mike Harkey said he watched video of the 29-year-old Peralta and said he has “plus stuff. … He’s someone else that can pitch in high-leverage situations.”

Peralta has options and can be sent back and forth to the minors, so he’ll be able to be part of the shuttle of pitchers that head to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, since the Yankees will need plenty of arms to get through the season. … Gio Urshela was removed in the eighth inning, but Boone said he just wanted to get the third baseman off his feet in a lopsided game.

Harkey is looking forward to getting reliever Zack Britton back — likely by early June — and is confident the lefty will be more effective than before the elbow surgery he underwent during spring training.

“I anticipate when he comes back, we’re gonna have a better version,’’ said Harkey, adding that the removal of bone chips, plus time to work on his arm will give Britton more flexibility.

This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Dan Martin

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