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Andrews’ triple lifts Yanks over Bucs

BRADENTON, Fla. — The New York Yankees exploded for six runs in the eighth inning in a 7-4 spring training win Saturday over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

John Andrews hit the bases-clearing, 3-run RBI triple in the top of the eighth to kick things off for the Yankees.

John Ryan hit his team-leading third home run of the spring with two outs in the second and Gregory Polanco went 2-for-2 with two doubles, a walk and an RBI.

Josh Bell was 1-for-3 has reached base safely in six straight games.

Injured Yankees

BRADENTON, Fla. — New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez was scratched from batting practice Saturday due to a sore back, though manager Aaron Boone said he doesn’t think the problem is serious.

Boone said he thought the soreness stemmed from Sanchez playing back-to-back games for the first time in spring training. Boone said he expected Sanchez would be shut down on Sunday, but didn’t rule out a return to game action in a few days.

“His back was a little sore this morning,” Boone said. “Nothing I’m too concerned about. I think that’s kind of normal wear and tear (after) first back-to-backs kind of thing. I don’t think it will be much of an issue.”

Sanchez joins a growing list of Yankees’ regulars impacted by injuries.

The team announced Friday that slugger Aaron Judge has a broken rib. It’s not clear whether he will need surgery, leaving doubt when he’ll be back in the lineup.

Judge will rest two weeks while recovering from the stress fracture to his first right rib. He hasn’t played in any spring training games while dealing with soreness in his right pectoral muscle and shoulder.

Two other Yankees outfielders also are out. Giancarlo Stanton strained his right calf on Feb. 26 during defensive drills and will miss opening day on March 26. Center fielder Aaron Hicks had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on Oct. 31 and is not expected back until summer.

Boone said Stanton played catch, and hit off a tee and took soft toss Saturday in an indoor cage.

New York will also start the season without three of its top five starting pitchers. Right-hander Luis Severino will miss the season following Tommy John surgery on Feb. 27; left-hander James Paxton is likely out until late May or June following surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back and to remove a cyst; and right-hander Domingo German must serve the final 63 games of an 81-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.

Severino said Saturday that he’s feeling pretty good but frustrated about getting hurt for the second straight year.

Severino said one of the first things he did after finding out that he needed Tommy John surgery was to check the internet to find pitchers that have had success following the procedure.

Two names that immediately popped up were two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom and 2019 World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg.

“A lot of good pitchers came back from that. so I think that gives me more confidence,” Severino said. “These guys did it, I can do it, too. It’s going to be a long recovery but at least I’m sure that I’ll be good for next year.”

The Yankees had Severino go to New York twice over the winter for MRI’s and a CT scan looking for the cause of occasional discomfort but the test were all negative.

The discovery of a partial UCL tear last month at least provided some answers.

“Definitely,” Severino said. “In your mind you’re thinking about a 100 things that can happen. Now, it’s good to know what I have. It’s good to know one part, it’s not good to know the other part.”

Tribe OF hurt

GOODYEAR, Ariz — Oscar Mercado’s left wrist is only sprained, and the Cleveland Indians are crossing their fingers it will heal in time for the outfielder to be ready for opening day.

An MRI taken Friday confirmed the sprain, which happened when Mercado made a diving catch in an exhibition game the previous day in Scottsdale.

Indians manager Terry Francona said Mercado will take it easy the next few days and be re-evaluated before the team decides what’s next for the 25-year-old.

“The idea is to take the first 48 to 72 hours to let this thing settle down,” Francona said Saturday. “He’ll go out with the team and stretch, get the blood flowing and all of that, and still throw. Then start to gradually introduce him to things and see how he reacts to it. The hope would be that he reacts well to the rest and stuff, and as we introduce him to things he feels great.

“If he doesn’t, they’ll have to slow it down.”

Opening day is March 26.

Mercado is penciled in as a starter for the Indians after a solid rookie season. He batted .269 with 15 homers and 59 RBIs in 118 games last season.

Mercado can play any of the three outfield positions but is probably best in center. Delino DeShields, who was acquired from Texas in the offseason trade for two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber, gives the Indians some depth and an option if Mercado doesn’t return quickly.

The injury adds to the suspense and is one of three to key players as the Indians gear up for the season. Starter Mike Clevinger had a torn meniscus in his knee repaired and won’t be ready until mid-April. Carlos Carrasco recovered from a hip flexor injury suffered during a Feb. 19 workout and has some elbow soreness.

Carrasco started for the first time this spring on March 3 against the Los Angeles Angels. He is being closely monitored after he was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia last June. He is trying to regain some of the weight he lost due to the cancer.

“There was a lot going on last year,” Carrasco said after his stint against the Angels. “I’m trying to bring back 2016, ’17 and ’18. Last year I lost like 18 pounds. Right now I’m trying to get back to normal. I need seven more pounds to get there. I will get there.”

He was scheduled to start on Sunday against Colorado but will be held back.

“We backed Carrasco up a couple days,” Francona said. “Every spring after his first outing he gets mild elbow inflammation. I would call it more maintenance than anything. He is going to do more weighted balls today.”

Mancini leaves camp

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Baltimore outfielder/first baseman Trey Mancini has left the Orioles to undergo what the team is calling “a non-baseball-related medical procedure.”

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde, who made the announcement after a game at Tampa Bay on Saturday, said Mancini “is going to miss some time” but didn’t say how much.

The 27-year-old Mancini, who hit .291 with 35 home runs and 97 RBIs in 2019, has played only five games this spring after earlier dealing with flu-like symptoms.

Mancini last played on March 2, but left the game after two at-bats.

“We love Trey, and we’re going to respect his privacy in this thing, and we’ll have more information as we know more,” Hyde said.

“I think, like anybody else would, that he’s going to go have further tests done. All I can say is we’re thinking about him. We’re just going to respect his privacy in this whole thing. We hate to see Trey miss time, but hopefully it’s not too long.”

Baltimore opens the season on March 26 against the New York Yankees.

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