Aaron Boone feels ‘awesome’ after getting pacemaker

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
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TAMPA, Fla. — New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone is into his second full week on the bench after having a pacemaker inserted and says he’s feeling “awesome.”

Boone had the procedure done at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida, on March 3 and was back on the job after missing just three games.

“Just a lot different, honestly,” Boone said before Sunday’s road game against the Toronto Blue Jays. “Energy. Even cardio-vascular workout capabilities. Done some (Peloton) rides I haven’t done in a few months that I didn’t even realize, oh, this is what it’s supposed to be like.”

Boone’s pacemaker is to keep his heart rate from dropping below 50-60 beats per minute or from rising too high.

“Still have some arm restrictions,” Boone said. “So I can’t like lift weights like I normally do but that will be hopefully a few more weeks. But as far as just getting around, energy in the mornings and all day, so much better.”

Boone had open heart surgery on March 26, 2009, while he was a player with the Houston Astros, a procedure to correct a swelling of the aorta. The condition had been first discovered when he was in college.

The 48-year-old Boone underwent yearly checkups since and said electrocardiograms this winter came back good, with no change, But when he was monitored for several weeks, he was found to have a heart rate as low as 30-39 beats per minute, well below the 60-100 considered normal for adults.

“I’m really, really thankful and grateful that we were able to identify it and it went kind of as they told me it would,” Boone said. “I was very at peace and comfortable with getting it done. They told me you’ll notice a big difference. Until you go through it and experience it, I guess you don’t realize how much of a difference you notice.”

Boone is entering his fourth season as manager of the Yankees.

NOTES: Boone said INF-OF Miguel Andujar (sore right hand and wrist) and C Robinson Chirinos (broken right wrist) will both see a hand specialist on Monday. Andujar first felt discomfort taking a swing in a winter league game. After calming down, the soreness returned last week. Chirinos was hit by a pitch on Mar. 10.

Swanson, Olson go deep vs Scherzer, Braves take NL East lead

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ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered off Max Scherzer, lifting the Atlanta Braves to a crucial 4-2 victory Saturday night over the New York Mets and a one-game lead in the NL East.

The defending World Series champions beat aces Jacob deGrom and Scherzer on consecutive nights to take their biggest lead of the season in the division. New York, which held a 10 1/2-game cushion on June 1, faces its biggest deficit of the year with four games remaining.

Atlanta will try for a three-game sweep Sunday night, with the winner earning the season-series tiebreaker between the teams. Even though both teams are headed to the postseason, that’s important because the NL East champion gets a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Swanson’s 24th homer, a go-ahead, two-run shot in the fifth inning, touched off a frenzy among the sold-out crowd at Truist Park, the ball sailing a few rows up into the seats in left-center to make it 3-2. Olson hit his 32nd homer in the sixth, a solo shot into Chop House seats in right to put Atlanta up 4-2.

Austin Riley led off the fourth with a double and scored on Olson’s single to make it 1-all.

Kyle Wright (21-5) gave up two runs and seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts in five innings as he won his eighth straight decision. The Braves have won 16 of his last 17 starts.

New York went up 2-1 in the fifth when Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil hit consecutive two-out singles.

The Mets led 1-0 in the first when Brandon Nimmo singled, advanced on a walk and a single and scored on Eduardo Escobar‘s groundout. Wright, who threw 30 pitches in the first, stranded two runners in scoring position to prevent further damage.

Scherzer (11-5) allowed a first-inning single to Riley and a third-inning infield single to Ronald Acuna Jr., who advanced to third on a fielding error by Lindor at shortstop but was stranded when Michael Harris II lined out to center. Scherzer patted his glove and pumped his fist as he walked off the mound.

Scherzer was charged with nine hits and four runs with no walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings as the Mets were knocked out of first place for only the third day all season.

The Braves have won five of the last six against New York to tie the season series 9-all, outscoring the Mets 37-16 over that stretch.

Atlanta’s bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA in September, got a perfect inning from Dylan Lee in the sixth. Jesse Chavez faced four batters in the seventh, Raisel Iglesias faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his NL-leading 39th save in 46 chances.

Since the Braves were a season low-tying four games under .500 at 23-27 after play on May 31, they have gone 76-32, tying the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the majors over that span. They were a season-worst 10 1/2 games behind the first-place Mets on June 1.

Wright, the only 20-game winner in baseball this season, hasn’t officially become the first Braves pitcher to lead the league in wins outright since Russ Ortiz had 21 in 2003, but the Dodgers’ Julio Urias has 17 and can’t reach 20 before the regular season ends.

Wright will become the first Braves pitcher since Hall of Famer Tom Glavine in 2000 to lead the majors in wins. Houston ace Justin Verlander also has 17.

Wright began the game 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA in six career starts and one relief appearance against the Mets.

The Braves, who got homers from Riley, Olson and Swanson off deGrom on Friday, lead the NL with 240 homers.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. Manager Buck Showalter said Marte is experiencing less pain but not enough to take the next step in his recovery. Marte has been sidelined since Sept. 7.

Braves: RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique. Manager Brian Snitker said there is no timetable for the rookie’s return. Strider has been sidelined since Sept. 21.

NICE GLOVE

Harris ran back and jumped to catch Nimmo’s fly against the wall in center field for the first out of the third.

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Chris Bassitt (15-8, 3.27 ERA) will face RHP Charlie Morton (9-6, 4.29) as the teams conclude a three-game series.