Greg Bird hadn’t driven in a run since July 31 or had an extra-base hit since July 28.
Not exactly the left-handed threat the Yankees expected from the first baseman when he returned from ankle surgery.
Bird finally broke through again in Saturday’s 5-3 win over the Rangers with a pair of doubles, including one that drove in a run in the first inning.
“That’s what he’s capable of and we need him,’’ Aaron Boone said. “He balances out our lineup when he’s right. He’s that on-base, power presence. He had a couple of big hits today. We’ve got to get him back and rolling. When he gets his pitch now, start impacting it again.”
It’s been a while since that happened.
Bird entered Saturday in a 12-game funk in which he was just 4-for-40 with no extra-base hits, three walks and 11 strikeouts. His OPS had dropped to .699 before his breakout game.
Boone had expressed confidence that Bird’s fortunes would change, since he’d seen him erupt before.
“I’m still seeing a guy who controls the zone, but right now, some pitches that he has a chance to do damage on, he’s not really clipping them yet,’’ Boone said. “One of the things we’ve dealt with — and I think is real — is a year and a half of dealing with injuries.”
Bird doubled in Miguel Andujar with a shot to the gap in right-center in the first and hit another to right to lead off the bottom of the sixth, later scoring.