Injured Hicks sits out
Tight hamstring bothers Yankee as Price faces Tanaka
BOSTON — Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks was not in the lineup Saturday night for Game 2 of the AL Division Series.
He left Friday night’s game with a tight right hamstring.
“Before the game, it started cramping up a little bit,” Hicks said. “One inning, two innings, three innings — in that last at-bat it started really cramping up on me. It sucks to come out of this game.”
Hicks had singled to lead off the fourth and jogged to first base. He seemed to be trying to stretch his legs as he stood on the base in the cold October night before manager Aaron Boone and trainer Steve Donohue went out to check on him.
Brett Gardner started in center and batted eighth as the Yankees tried to even the series against the Red Sox after losing 5-4 in Game 1.
Red Sox Game 2 starter David Price was trying to overcome a history of postseason struggles. The left-hander was 0-8 as a starter in the playoffs, though he has two postseason wins in relief.
Price was facing righty Masahiro Tanaka, who pitched seven shutout innings last year in Game 5 of the ALCS against the Astros.
Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright was replaced on the ALDS roster by reliever Heath Hembree.
Wright has inflammation in his left knee. He is ineligible for the rest of the series and cannot play in the AL Championship Series. He could be activated G1: G2: G3: G4: G5: for the World Series.
Wright told manager Alex Cora before Game 1 on Friday that his knee was bothering him.
Hembree was 4-1 with a 4.20 ERA in 67 games.
Despite a Game 1 loss, the Yankees were feeling pretty good after rallying from a 5-0 deficit and losing by only one run.
“We almost caught them,” Boone said. “I thought we did a really good job of pecking away, a good job of giving ourselves opportunities, and just ran out of time there.”
The Yankees had 10 hits, but the first nine were singles. Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 38 home runs in the regular season, had four of the Yankees’ 13 strikeouts.
Red Sox reliever Ryan Brasier faced three batters in Game 1, and two of them reached. Brandon Workman got a big out but also allowed two hits and a walk. Matt Barnes walked one and allowed an inherited runner to score. Even usually reliable closer Craig Kimbrel coughed up a run.
It was exactly the kind of performance that had Red Sox fans in a panic entering the series. But Workman insisted the team is still confident in its bullpen.
“I believe we’re the guys that are going to get the job done,” he said.
Added Chris Sale: “There’s no holding back now. It’s everything on the table, everything you’ve got.”
Trainer Steve Donohue checks the hamstring of Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks (31) on Friday night in Game 1.