Yankees’ Joey Gallo exits with injury after botching key play

What already had been a rough game for Joey Gallo took a turn in which frustration became pain.

The insult came first and was followed by the injury, as the Yankees’ struggling outfielder did not take charge on a fly ball that cost them a run and then was removed from the game after getting drilled by a pitch in the left forearm area.

There was no bright side for the trade-deadline addition in the Yankees’ 6-5 loss to the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Wednesday.

A 93 mph fastball from Toronto’s Tim Mayza ran in on Gallo in the seventh, and Aaron Boone and trainers checked on him before letting him run the bases. Gallo remained in the game until the ninth, when Gary Sanchez pinch hit for him and struck out looking.

Boone said Gallo could not take the at-bat in the one-run game, which was a clear concern, and the Yankees were awaiting X-ray results.

Joey Gallo
Joey Gallo
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

Gallo’s arrival in pinstripes came with both sky-high expectations and, the Yankees hoped, home runs, but his play has underwhelmed.

Before getting drilled, Gallo was 0-for-2 in the game, which dropped him to 3-for-28 (.107) in his past nine games — and to 28-for-178 (.157) as a Yankee.

The club knew he would be streaky. The Yankees knew he would strike out, which he has done 84 times since the trade. But there have been defensive lapses that probably have surprised for a one-time Gold Glover with a cannon for an arm.

Wednesday’s game may have turned in the fifth inning, when Gerrit Cole had retired five straight until George Springer lofted what appeared to be a harmless fly ball down the left-field line. Gio Urshela drifted toward it with hesitation, and Gallo, who had the longer run, did not call him off.

The ball dropped in between the two, and two batters later Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s double made it a three-run Blue Jays lead.

“I think Joey’s got to completely take charge on that one, especially as good an outfielder [as he is],” Boone said of Gallo, whose dropped ball in left field nearly cost the Yankees a win against the Red Sox last weekend. “I think he just shied away when he saw Gio.

“I think that’s a ball he’s just got to be super-aggressive, get loud and take it.”

If Gallo has to miss time, the Yankees might be forced to play Giancarlo Stanton in the outfield, which is especially dicey on Toronto’s turf. But Boone has alluded to the Yankees needing to go all-out with now four games left in the season, so worrisome outfield configurations might need to be swallowed.

Gallo, who is not a rental and has another year on his contract, has recently been overshadowed in the outfield, which happens when Stanton and Aaron Judge go on a tear and the Yankees win.

But when they don’t, the camouflage wears off. There were questions about Gallo, and now those questions are much larger as the team waits on his X-rays.

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