Clint Frazier knows one win and one home run won’t make up for the way 2018 ended for the Yankees, with a defeat to the Red Sox in the ALDS.
But Tuesday, he and the Yankees at least got off to a good start against Boston, as Frazier hit a homer against Chris Sale that helped break open an 8-0 victory in The Bronx.
“It was huge,’’ Frazier said. “The rivalry is what it is. To us, it’s important to get a win against whoever we’re playing. We know the last time they were here, they beat us to go on to the World Series. It’s a good feeling to know we got them tonight.”
A lone win in April hardly makes up for a season-ending defeat in the playoffs, but the Yankees were desperate for a victory, especially with the way much of their season has gone. Homers by Frazier and Mike Tauchman — both in the majors because of the injuries that have decimated the Yankees’ lineup — played a significant part in the win.
For Frazier, the shot to lead off the bottom of the fourth came after he had struggled at the plate recently. He entered the game just 2-for-16 with no extra-base hits, a walk and six strikeouts in his previous five games, and he grounded to short in his first at-bat.
Frazier was due to slow down after a torrid three-game stretch that went from Baltimore to Houston just over a week ago, when he went 7-for-11 with three homers. Tuesday, Frazier hit fifth, as manager Aaron Boone looks for offense anywhere he can get it.
And Frazier delivered with his fourth home run of the season, a fly ball that just got out to right-center. Frazier admitted he didn’t think he got enough of it.
“I was watching Mookie [Betts] the entire time,’’ Frazier said of the Red Sox center fielder. “I was really happy it went out.”
If the Yankees are going to survive the absence of outfielders like Aaron Hicks (back) and Giancarlo Stanton (biceps), Frazier will need to produce consistently — and he knows it.
“I’m happy to be out here, getting the opportunity to play every day,’’ Frazier said. “I feel a lot more comfortable in the box, and when I have success, it’s fun. As long as I continue to get at-bats and continue to build off that, I’ll play at a high level, hopefully.’’