Yankees' Corey Kluber, Gio Urshela closer to return after latest rehab game with Double-A Somerset

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Corey Kluber Somerset Patriots front view stride cropped
Corey Kluber Somerset Patriots front view stride cropped

Injured Yankees RHP Corey Kluber (shoulder) and 3B Gio Urshela (hamstring) took steps closer to returning in Tuesday's rehab game with Double-A Somerset, a 6-2 win over Cleveland-affiliated Akron.

Kluber bounced back from a two-run first inning in which he allowed three straight singles to start the outing. In 3 2/3 innings pitched, Kluber scattered two runs on five hits while striking out four, walking one and hitting another on 60 pitches (39 strikes).

"Obviously an improvement over the last time out when he was just getting his feet wet and back into the swing of things," said pitching coach Daniel Moskos, according to mycentraljersey.com's Nick Gantaifis, referencing Kluber's shaky Aug. 12 start with Somerset. "He had a couple of ground balls with eyes here and there. But I thought he executed really well. He was living in the zones where he needed to be in and I think he'll get sharper as he gets back into his routine and builds up his pitch count and builds up that rhythm. He just need to get his pitch count up, his work load up so that he can be a rotation option for them."

Last time out with Somerset, Kluber allowed five runs on two hits with one strikeout to four walks and two hit batters, throwing 25 pitches (20 strikes) in 1 1/3 innings.

With Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last Tuesday, Kluber showed signs of improvement, allowing three runs on two hits (one home run) while striking out four and walking two on 56 pitches (37 strikes) in three-plus innings.

Kluber -- on the 60-day injured list since June 5 -- is 4-3 with a 3.04 ERA in 10 games over 53 1/3 innings pitched, scattering 21 runs (18 earned) on 41 hits while striking out 55 and walking 23. He could make his Yankees return as soon as next week, according to mycentraljersey.com.

Meanwhile, Urshela -- hitting second and playing third -- went 1 for 4 with a line-drive single to left field in the first inning. Urshela, who has not played for the Yankees since July 31, sports a season slash line of .274/.315/.439 with 11 home runs and 41 RBI through 84 games in 2021.

"I felt really good. I’m excited to get back to playing," Urshela said, according to mycentraljersey.com. "I'm excited and happy with what the team has been doing and I'm ready to get back with them."

Urshela is expected to rejoin the Yankees (74-52) on Thursday when they begin their four-game series at the Oakland Athletics (70-57).