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Happ to come off DL, start for Yanks Thursday

MLB.com

CHICAGO -- J.A. Happ's tenure with the Yankees got off on the wrong hand, foot and mouth.

Happ, acquired from the Blue Jays on July 26, contracted hand, foot and mouth disease after his first start in pinstripes on July 29, but he will be ready to come off the disabled list when eligible on Thursday, manager Aaron Boone said.

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CHICAGO -- J.A. Happ's tenure with the Yankees got off on the wrong hand, foot and mouth.

Happ, acquired from the Blue Jays on July 26, contracted hand, foot and mouth disease after his first start in pinstripes on July 29, but he will be ready to come off the disabled list when eligible on Thursday, manager Aaron Boone said.

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"He's out of the woods, virus-wise, not contagious," Boone said. "If all goes well here the next couple days, then he'd be in line to start Thursday."

Happ threw six innings of one-run ball in his only Yankees outing. On the season, the left-hander is 11-6 with a 4.05 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 132 strikeouts.

Boone, Yanks move on from rough Boston series
Following a challenging weekend in Boston in which the Red Sox widened their American League East lead to 9 1/2 games, the Yankees are putting the past behind them and looking forward.

Over their next 27 games, the Yankees will not play a team that is currently above .500, with the Rays being the only opponent close at an even 56-56. Some outside the organization view this upcoming stretch as a great opportunity for a struggling club to rebound from a sweep at Boston's hands.

For Boone, the key is taking everything one day at a time.

"I look at it as I think we're a really good team, and we're in a tough stretch where we haven't necessarily played our best, obviously," Boone said. "But I always feel like we're today away from starting to turn that around and starting to come out of that, and I believe that that day is today.

"I walk in that room every day with that confidence, with that optimism, because of the people that we're able to roll out there every day. Nothing's changed in that regard, and that's my expectation."

The Yankees and Red Sox were in a virtual first-place tie as recently as July 1, and part of the reason behind Boston's sudden ascension was the Red Sox taking advantage of weak opponents like the Blue Jays, Rangers and Tigers, going 23-5 since July 1, while the Yankees have gone 14-15.

During this upcoming stretch, it's the Yankees who will face the Blue Jays, Rangers and Tigers, in addition to 10 games against the White Sox and Orioles. Boone said after Sunday's loss that the Yankees won't "let this define what's been a great season," but he dismissed the idea that this tough spell is a test for him as a first-year manager.

"I don't really even consider valuing whether this is a test or not for me. This is about our guys and getting them in a good spot," Boone said. "I'm uber-focused on this series, the White Sox, making sure our guys are in the right frame of mind, trying each day to put our guys in the best position and places to go out there and have success."

The Yankees' next contest against a postseason contender will come Sept. 3, when they open a nine-game road trip in Oakland before heading to Seattle.

Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ