MINNEAPOLIS — As calendars flipped from May to June, Gio Urshela flipped a switch at the plate.
The third baseman has been on a tear, entering play on Thursday night with a hit in all eight games he’s played this month.
Urshela didn’t just extend that streak to nine games on Thursday night, he had another solid night at the plate against the Twins, doing his part in a 7-5 loss to Minnesota.
The fourth-inning homer, off ex-Yankees starter J.A. Happ, was the 29-year-old’s seventh long ball of the season. Soaring 409 feet, before caroming off the facing of the second deck at Target Field, Urshela had recorded his second extra-base hit in as many at-bats to start the game.
In the first, shortly after Giancarlo Stanton crushed a three-run homer off Happ, Urshela legged out a triple courtesy of a friendly bounce off the right-field wall.
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Thursday night marked Urshela’s fifth multi-hit game of the month, raising his average on the season to .278. In the month of June alone, Urshela is now batting .368 (14-for-38) with three doubles, two home runs, three RBI and a 1.043 OPS.
Before first pitch, Urshela mentioned that he’s been feeling good at the plate, getting some results after a rough stretch a few weeks prior.
« I feel like I’ve been hitting the ball really well, » Urshela said. « Just trying to keep it that way. Trying to keep working every day and try to help my team. That’s the most important thing for me. And let’s see how it can go all year. »
For a moment earlier in the season, it looked like Urshela could be sidelined for an extended period of time. The third baseman was day-to-day after hurting his left knee, diving on defense in a game against the Houston Astros in early-May.
While he sometimes looks to be favoring his left leg, or needs a couple innings off his feet at the end of a game, Urshela hasn’t been limited over the last few weeks.
« It’s been good. It’s been better, » said Urshela when asked about his knee. « Not saying 100 percent, but it’s way better than it was before. »
If the first 10 days of the month are any indication—and he’s able to stay on the field going forward—Urshela is poised to continue producing in the heart of New York’s lineup and solidify his reputation as one of the most underrated third basemen in the American League.
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