SAN DIEGO (AP) — Slumping catcher Gary Sánchez was benched by the Yankees for the third time in four games, with New York facing elimination from the postseason in Game 4 of the AL Division Series against Tampa Bay,
Kyle Higashioka was behind the plate to catch left-hander Jordan Montgomery on Thursday night. Higashioka, batting ninth, entered 2 for 7 in the series with a solo homer in New York’s Game 1 win and 3 for 12 with one RBI in the postseason.
Sánchez, a 27-year-old who is a two-time All-Star, hit .147 this season, which would have been lowest in the majors by far if he had enough at-bats to qualify. He was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in Game 2, dropping to 1 for 9 in the postseason.
Higashioka caught ace Gerrit Cole in the opener as the Yankees won 9-3 and Masahiro Tanaka in Game 3 as New York lost 8-4.
Higashioka hit .250 with four homers and 10 RBIs in 48 at-bats during the regular season and is a better defender than Sánchez.
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