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Yankees rally after contested check swing, Boone ejection

September 1, 2018
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New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone demonstrates to home plate umpire Nic Lentz before being tossed from a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers during the fifth inning Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, at Yankee Stadium in New York. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees manager Aaron Boone ended his argument by squatting behind home and impersonating a catcher to show plate umpire Nic Lentz what he was missing.

Boone was long gone by the time umpires awarded Luke Voit first base on a borderline check swing — a decision that left Tigers skipper Ron Gardenhire red in the face, too.

Gleyber Torres drove in the go-ahead run one batter after a contested call loaded the bases for New York in the eighth inning, and the Yankees beat Detroit 7-5 on Friday night as they await the arrival of 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen.

Boone fired up the crowd — and got himself ejected — for yelling at Lentz from the dugout during Torres’ fifth-inning at-bat. He then stuck a finger in Lentz’s face and gave him a tutorial behind the dish . Boone’s dad is All-Star catcher Bob Boone, so he had the style down pat while lecturing Lentz, who is a Triple-A umpire filling in on a big league crew.

“I just had some issue with the zone on a couple of pitches, key pitches that I felt like were missed and I took exception to it,” Boone said. “I guess he had heard enough.”

Torres appreciated the support.

“After that, we felt a little more hot, more excited,” Torres said.

It showed when Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks and Miguel Andujar homered in the sixth to end Jordan Zimmermann’s bid for a second career no-hitter.

After a few back-and-forth innings, New York trailed 5-4 before loading the bases against Joe Jimenez (4-4) on a double by Gardner and walks by Hicks and Voit.

Voit was ruled to have checked his swing on a 3-2, two-out pitch, and Gardenhire was ejected by first base umpire Paul Nauert for arguing.

“Looked like he got the last out,” a frustrated Gardenhire said. “Looked like he did.”

As he walked back to the dugout after giving Nauert an earful, Gardenhire asked Voit “did you swing?” Gardenhire said Voit just shook his head and smiled.

“You have to have those moments out there because I was frustrated and I didn’t want to be to, well, my wife is watching this game,” Gardenhire said.

Voit was willing to go with Nauert’s version of the play:

“He said I didn’t, so I didn’t swing.”

Torres then lined an 0-1 pitch from Alex Wilson to left field for a single, and the ball ricocheted off the head of diving left fielder Mikie Mahtook, allowing two runs to score for a 6-5 Yankees lead. After an intentional walk to Neil Walker, Austin Romine brought in another run with an infield single.

David Robertson struck out Nicholas Castellanos and Victor Reyes with two on in the ninth for his fifth save.

New York had to rally after blowing a late lead for the second straight game. A night after Dellin Betances gave up two homers in the ninth of an 8-7 loss to Detroit — Boone called that one “a kick in the stomach” — Zach Britton (2-0) allowed a tying single to Mahtook in the seventh and a go-ahead, bases-loaded sacrifice fly to Ronny Rodriguez in the eighth that made it 5-4.

The banged-up Yankee lineup will get a boost Saturday. McCutchen is expected to join the team following a trade Friday from San Francisco, and catcher Gary Sanchez is set to return from the DL.

Zimmermann carried a 3-0 lead and a no-hitter into the sixth behind a solo homer from Niko Goodrum and a two-run triple by Jim Adduci.

After Romine reached via error, Gardner hit Zimmermann’s 2-0 pitch over the right-field wall. Hicks added a no-doubt solo shot two batters later to tie it at 3, and Andujar made it 4-3 with a solo shot in the next at-bat.

New York starter Luis Severino was pulled in line for his major league-leading 18th victory, but instead took a no-decision after pitching three-run ball for six innings. He struck out 10.

REINFORCEMENTS COMING

Beginning Saturday, McCutchen will handle right field duties until slugger Aaron Judge returns from a broken right wrist.

“We’re getting a really good player,” Boone said, adding that “I think his reputation precedes him. This is as high a character person as we have in our game and I know he’ll fit well in our room.”

Sanchez is returning from a groin injury. The 2017 All-Star is hitting just .188 with 14 homers in 66 games this season, but Boone has praised Sanchez’s improved conditioning during his recovery process.

“I think we’re getting potentially a front line player and a guy that will be an absolute presence in our lineup,” Boone said of Sanchez.

BRONX SPOTTERS

The Yankees drew 41,026 and surpassed three million fans for the 20th consecutive season, extending their major league record.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: LHP Daniel Norris will be activated from the DL to start Saturday. He’s been out since having groin surgery May 3. ... Detroit activated LHP Blaine Hardy (left elbow tendinitis) from the DL. ... SS Jose Iglesias has a strained lower abdominal but testing showed no tears, meaning he should be able to return in 10-14 days.

Yankees: Boone said top prospect LHP Justus Sheffield would likely not be among the players New York calls up Saturday when rosters expand.

UP NEXT

Norris will oppose Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka (9-5, 3.97), who is 0-3 with a 3.88 ERA in his past four starts.

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