Play of the year contender highlights Sox-Yanks

April 17th, 2019

NEW YORK -- The Yankees spoke highly of 's defense when he joined the big league club earlier this month, but even they probably didn't know that he could do this.

Urshela made a magnificent play to rob of a hit in the sixth inning of New York's 8-0 victory on Tuesday, ranging into foul territory behind third base to backhand a grounder, then firing a strike to first base that was able to snag before the ball hit the dirt.

The most impressive part of the play was the throw, as Urshela lost his footing when his left foot skidded on the grass. Undeterred, Urshela continued, using his upper body to power the ball across the infield.

"I don't know how he got that much on it when he slipped," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "He can really defend. Getting to watch him for a couple weeks up close in Spring Training, now here early in the season, that's one of those things you can tell comes easy to him. That's a pretty special play."

New York led, 4-0, at the time of Urshela's deft play. He led off the next half-inning with a double, scoring on 's first career home run, a three-run shot off Boston's .

"It was a heck of a play and an important play at the time, with the top of the order up there," Boone said. "Plays like that contribute to a guy being able to pitch deep in a game. [] was able to give us eight innings. As we start a stretch of a lot of games in a row, you preserve the 'pen a little bit. Those kinds of plays matter, and that was a good one."

Purchased from Toronto last August, the 27-year-old Urshela has played parts of four Major League seasons with the Indians (2015, '17), the Blue Jays ('18) and now the Yankees.

Urshela took over as New York's starting third baseman in the wake of Miguel Andújar's right labrum injury, sustained in the third game of the season. Andujar is continuing to toss and swing a bat as he hopes to avoid season-ending surgery.