BOSTON -- The Yankees received good news regarding Aaron Hicks on Saturday, as an MRI revealed no strain in his tight right hamstring. The switch-hitting outfielder went through an on-field workout at Fenway Park and is available off the bench for Game 2 of the American League Division Series, manager Aaron Boone said.
Brett Gardner got the nod in center field, hitting ninth in place of Hicks, who was forced to exit the Yankees' 5-4 loss to the Red Sox in ALDS Game 1. Boone said that he is hopeful Hicks can return to the lineup for Monday's Game 3 at Yankee Stadium.
"I didn't want to risk anything as far as him starting and having to pull him in the third inning; then we're kind of hands tied again," Boone said. "I just decided it would be best to have him as a weapon on the bench and deploy him whenever we may need him tonight, which I wouldn't hesitate to do."
:: ALDS schedule and results ::
Hicks opened the fourth inning of Game 1 with a single to right field off Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale, jogging gingerly down the first-base line. After Giancarlo Stanton fouled off a pitch, Boone and head athletic trainer Steve Donohue went onto the field to check on Hicks, who was then removed from the game.
"I was trying to stay in the game, but my body language was saying that I should get out of the game," Hicks said Friday.
Boone said that Hicks attempted to talk his way into the lineup for Game 2.
"I think he wanted to play, but I think he was kind of OK [with the decision] and said, 'Yeah, I still feel a little something. It's in there,'" Boone said. "I think there's just that little bit of apprehension that he could go out there and tweak it a little more. Then you're really up against it. I think he understands and hopefully can benefit from being off it for a day and a half."
Hicks has experienced hamstring issues in recent weeks. He was removed from a Sept. 24 game against the Rays at Tropicana Field with what the club said at the time was a tight left hamstring. An MRI taken the next day revealed no tear, and Hicks returned to the lineup on Sept. 28 at Boston.
"Some players are more prone to things than others," Boone said. "Hopefully it's something that we can squash here and that won't impact too much of the rest of the playoffs."
A club may request permission from the Commissioner's Office to replace a player who is injured during the course of a series, but that player is then ineligible for the rest of that round and the subsequent round, if there is one. A pitcher may be replaced only by another pitcher, and a position player only by another position player.
Gleyber Torres flung his bat aside after striking out in the sixth inning of Game 1, leaving the bases loaded in one of the biggest missed opportunities of the evening. He was able to leave that disappointment there and move forward, showing another example of why the Yankees are so high on their wunderkind second baseman.
"I always stay positive and I said last night, 'It is what it is,'" Torres said. "Today is another day, and I'm focused. I think it's part of taking a little more experience. It's part of maturity, and I think that's it. I'm focusing on doing my job today. And the most important [thing] is try to win and help my team."
Since Torres' Minor League days, talent evaluators have raved about his ability to slow the game down and approach each inning with a measured cadence. That may be why it is easy to forget what his birth certificate reads -- with an eighth-inning single in Game 1, Torres (21 years and 296 days) became the second-youngest Yankee to record a postseason hit behind Mickey Mantle, whose first postseason hit came at age 19 in the 1951 World Series.
"He's handled and passed every test this year," Boone said. "He's a really gifted player and a really smart player. It's part of it, especially in the postseason when you're up against the best and the scouting reports are airtight. The best of the best are trying to get you out. It's going to happen. You're going to have at-bats, nights, like that. It's part of it. I think he'll handle it and hopefully have more opportunities tonight."
This date in Yankees history
Oct. 6, 1926: Babe Ruth goes 3-for-3 with three homers, four runs, four RBIs and two walks in the Yankees' 10-5 win over the Cardinals in Game 4 of the World Series. Ruth remains one of only four players in Major League history to hit three homers in a World Series game.