Sports

Yanks’ Torres (thumb) back off 22-game absence

NEW YORK — Gleyber Torres was activated from the injured list Friday by the New York Yankees after missing almost a month with a sprained left thumb.

Torres batted seventh in the series opener against the Baltimore Orioles. With an afternoon game scheduled Saturday, Boone said Torres would likely sit before returning Sunday and playing regularly thereafter.

Torres is batting .253 with six homers and 42 RBIs in 99 games. He appeared to be heating up when he was injured while stealing second base against the Seattle Mariners on Aug. 9. The 24-year-old shortstop hit .393 with five RBIs and four doubles in 28 at-bats in eight August games, a span in which the Yankees went 6-2.

“I know he’s real eager to get back and contribute,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before. “I felt he was playing some of his best baseball in those couple weeks before going to the IL.”

The Yankees went 16-6 in Torres’ absence to surge from 2½ games in back of the American League’s second wild-card spot to 1½ games ahead of the Boston Red Sox in the race for the first wild card.

“I think Gleyber’s shown the more that’s on the line, usually, he’s been a little bit better of a player,” Boone said. “We’re obviously at a critical time in the season, entering the final month of games here of the regular season.”

Torres was 2-for-8 with a homer in three rehab games. He dodged an injury scare Wednesday when he was hit on the hand by a pitch in his final at-bat for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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