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Frazier productive in return to Yanks' lineup

Special to MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- It has been a long road back to the Yankees for Clint Frazier. But nearly three months after sustaining an early Spring Training concussion, Frazier looked at the lineup card on Saturday and saw his name in the No. 7 slot as the designated hitter.

"A lot of people don't know how hard it is to go through a concussion," Frazier said before making his season debut in an 8-3 win over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. "I'm just glad I'm here."

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KANSAS CITY -- It has been a long road back to the Yankees for Clint Frazier. But nearly three months after sustaining an early Spring Training concussion, Frazier looked at the lineup card on Saturday and saw his name in the No. 7 slot as the designated hitter.

"A lot of people don't know how hard it is to go through a concussion," Frazier said before making his season debut in an 8-3 win over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. "I'm just glad I'm here."

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Frazier went 1-for-2 with two walks and a double, and he scored on Gleyber Torres' go-ahead three-run homer in the fourth.

"Really good," manager Aaron Boone said. "He smoked a ball the other way and was under control. To go right in there and have quality at-bats, it makes me excited for him."

The right-handed-hitting Frazier struggled to maintain patience after the Feb. 24 injury, but eventually worked his way back to a solid Triple-A stint for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he hit .362 with three doubles, two triples and three home runs over a 12-game span. He joined the Yankees earlier in the week in Washington, D.C., and he got the nod from Boone with lefty Danny Duffy going for the Royals on Saturday.

"He has earned this opportunity," Boone said of Frazier. "He has played well, swung the bat really well. I know what he is capable of and just want him to go out there and let his talent take over."

Pause button for Gregorius
With the Yankees facing a lefty, Boone also took the opportunity to give slumping shortstop Didi Gregorius a rest from the starting lineup. Gregorius was locked in a 1-for-42 drought following Friday's series opener.

"I do think it's good for him to get a little break," Boone said. "Matchup-wise, this is the one that makes the most sense."

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com based in Kansas City.

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier, Didi Gregorius