After watching Jon Gray walk two of three batters to load the bases with none out in the second inning, Chase Headley had a feeling he’d see a fastball from the righthander.
“He’s got great stuff, so you know he wants to get ahead,” Headley said. “I was looking for a pitch I could handle in the middle of the plate, and I got a fastball I could hit.”
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That fastball came in at 97 mph and Headley sent it into the netting that overhangs Monument Park in centerfield. The Yankees’ first grand slam of the season — and the fourth of Headley’s career — produced a 4-0 lead.
It was the continuation of an impressive stretch for Headley, who had a .305/.371/.453 slash line in his previous 38 games.
“I think it’s a little mechanical issue that they were able to work out,” Joe Girardi said of Headley and hitting coach Alan Cockrell.
Refsnyder earning Girardi’s confidence
Rob Refsnyder’s bat continues to make him more than a platoon player. For the second straight game, he started at first base against a righthander, leaving lefthanded-hitting Ike Davis on the bench. Refsnyder went 1-for-2 with a walk, giving him a .288/.345/.404 slash line in 20 games.
“His at-bats have been good,” Girardi said before the game. “I think he’s an outstanding baserunner. I just like the way that he’s playing. It’s why I’m sticking with him right now.”
Davis was a defensive replacement in the ninth.
Around the horn
Carlos Beltran matched last year’s home run total of 19 with his three-run shot in the seventh. The 39-year-old has a .339/.385/.706 slash line in his last 29 games . . . Brett Gardner went 1-for-3 with two walks and has reached base safely in nine of his last 13 plate appearances. He has a .432 OBP at home this season . . . Jacoby Ellsbury returned after a one-day absence because of a stomach virus and went 1-for-5, a double.