NEW YORK -- DJ LeMahieu hit a third-inning triple in his return to the lineup Saturday, and the Yankees averted their longest losing streak in a quarter-century with a 2-1 victory over the crosstown New York Mets.
LeMahieu had been on the injured list since Aug. 16 with a left thumb sprain. The All-Star infielder returned to the Bronx for the first time since hurting his thumb during an awkward swing in the Yankees' 11-5 victory over the Red Sox on Aug. 15.
He finished the day 1-for-4 and played third base in place of Gio Urshela, who sat out again with a bone spur in his elbow.
"It was big. It was definitely a grind-out win. Not the prettiest win, but we needed that bad," said LeMahieu, reinstated from the injured list before the game. "Hopefully that sparks us and we get back to playing how we should be playing, how we know how to. It was a tough little stretch there.''
J.A. Happ pitched brilliantly into the eighth and Luke Voit homered early at Yankee Stadium as the injury-ravaged Bronx Bombers stopped a seven-game slide that followed six straight wins. They haven't dropped eight in a row since August 1995 -- just before their most recent dynasty of three consecutive World Series titles and four in all from 1996 to 2000.
LeMahieu's return was good news for the Bombers, who returned All-Star right fielder Aaron Judge to the IL after he reinjured his right calf, though the club hopes the injury will not keep him off the field for an extended period.
Judge was placed on the IL Aug. 29, just two days after being activated and aggravating the injury in a game at Atlanta, in which he was removed in the sixth inning. The 2017 Rookie of the Year was added back to the IL on Friday before the start of the series, a doubleheader sweep by the Mets.
"I don't have a prediction of the time frame but that is a fair assessment to put out there and make sure people don't have earlier hopes, including our player, which I shared with him on the off day here at Yankee Stadium after returning from the MRI," Yankees GM Brian Cashman said about Judge.
Left fielder and designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton still is nursing a left hamstring strain from which he's not expected to come back until close to mid-September. Shortstop Gleyber Torres also is on the injured list, dealing with left quadriceps and left hamstring strains that will keep him off the field for at least another week, though Yankees manager Aaron Boone stated that he was "surprised" by his progress.
Urshela became the latest addition to the Yankees' list of injured players after being diagnosed with a bone spur in his right elbow that has kept him off the field the past three games. Boone said a stay on the IL is not expected for the infielder at this time.
"We have options but we're a little optimistic on Gio factoring in tomorrow," Boone said. "Regarding Torres, I would say he's doing really well and probably better than I would have anticipated at this point. Just seeing him run a couple of days ago, [taking] ground balls. I know he's hitting today as well. So he's getting close. As far as when, exactly, I don't have a day yet in mind."
The Yankees returned Miguel Andujar to their alternate site in Scranton as the corresponding move for activating LeMahieu.
The Yankees and Mets play their second seven-inning doubleheader in three days Sunday afternoon to make up games postponed last weekend at Citi Field after a Mets player and a coach tested positive for the coronavirus. The Mets will be the "home" team at Yankee Stadium in the second game.
Prized pitching prospect Deivi Garcia will start one game for the Yankees, making his major league debut. Right-hander Michael King will start the other game, but the order was still to be determined.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.