The New York Yankees and Greg Bird have waited a long time for him to be back on the field and produce, that time has come.

New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird is back, and he made his presence known against Justin Verlander and the Houston Astros.

With the Yankees down 4-0 in the seventh inning, not having generated much against Verlander, Bird came up and did what he does best: hit clutch home runs against the games best pitchers.

Bird led the seventh inning off hitting a solo shot to the short porch in right field and into the seats, putting the Yankees on the board. Verlander had shut out the Yankees through six, only allowing just four hits, continuing his domination of the Bombers in an Astros uniform.

The home run was Bird’s first ball hit out of the park since he hit one of Ken Giles in Game 1 of the American League Championship series against the Astros in the 2017 postseason. The Yankees were looking for answers in that game, and Bird once again played hero.

Bird’s home run was the first home run hit by a left-handed batter of Verlander this season.

Manager Aaron Boone moved Bird up to the cleanup spot today with Giancarlo Stanton having the night off. It’s his third game since returning from a right ankle injury that cost him the first two months of the season. Prior to the home run, Bird was 1-7 with a single in the Yankees win Sunday.

As the season progresses, Bird’s usage will be something to pay attention to. As Didi Gregorius continues to struggle, could Bird move his way up to the number three spot in the order full time? Could Boone use him to serve as protection for Gary Sanchez in the six spot?

Greg Bird is back, and the Yankees hope this is the first of many home runs to come in 2018.

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Dominick is a graduate of Canisius College. He has covered the Rangers for the last seven seasons and the Yankees for the last four.