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Buck Showalter not surprised by Andrew Miller's success

New York Yankees relief pitcher Andrew Miller delivers

New York Yankees relief pitcher Andrew Miller delivers during the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles in a baseball game at Yankee Stadium on Friday, May 8, 2015. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Buck Showalter hasn't been caught off guard.

Having managed Andrew Miller last season -- the lefthander posted a 1.35 ERA in 23 games with the Orioles after being acquired from the Red Sox -- Showalter isn't surprised at his success so far as the Yankees' closer.

"It doesn't surprise anybody, especially stuffwise," Showalter said before Saturday's game. "And if things don't go well one night, which won't happen very often with him, he'll get right back on the horse."

Miller, given the day off by Joe Girardi having pitched four times this week, including back-to-back Thursday and Friday, has not allowed a run in 15 appearances this season. The 29-year-old is 13-for-13 in saves, which leads the majors.

"Lefthanded closers are the utopia for managers because they negate all the lefthanded bats that come off the bench late in the game," Showalter said. "Most ballparks play shorter out there [in right], especially this ballpark."

Miller is behind only Dellin Betances (16) for most appearances by a Yankees reliever this season and Girardi said there have been a few times this season, such as Saturday, when he's told them not to bother. They're not pitching.

"We've done that on more than one occasion this year with a number of our relievers," Girardi said.

Speaking specifically of being afraid of burning Miller out, he said: "That's why there are days that I make him not available. Would you love to have him available 162 games? Absolutely. But it's not feasible. And you just say, 'you're not pitching today.' "

Martin to DL

RHP Chris Martin, tied with Miller with 15 appearances, was placed on the DL before Saturday's game with right elbow tendinitis. RHP Branden Pinder was re-called from Triple-A Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre. Pinder, who appeared in two games in April, had a 2.63 ERA in eight games with Scranton.

"It's frustrating but I guess that's part of it," said Martin, who had a 3.55 ERA, struck out 13 and walked three in 12 2/3 innings. "Just have to work on getting healthy."

Martin first started feeling the soreness after the series against the Rays on April 29 but didn't say anything to the Yankees until Friday.

Ellsbury streak halted

CF Jacoby Ellsbury's 11-game hitting streak came to an end as he went 0-for-5. During the streak, Ellsbury was 22-for-45 (.489) with six multi-hit games, 10 runs, four walks and seven stolen bases.

"How many true leadoff hitters are left anymore?" Showalter said before the game. "Ellsbury, when he's healthy and right, he brings that package."

Good company

INF Jose Pirela (2-for-4) has recorded multiple hits in five of his first 10 career games, joining Norm McMillan (six), Jerry Coleman (five), Joe DiMaggio (five), Leo Durocher (five), Ed Hahn (five), Phil Rizzuto (five) and Snuffy Stirnweiss (five) as the only players in franchise history to accomplish the feat.

Extra bases

RHP Masahiro Tanaka (right wrist tendinitis, right forearm strain) had the day off after making 25 throws from 60 feet and another 25 from 90 feet Friday. He will throw again Sunday, Girardi said . . . RHP Ivan Nova (elbow) is scheduled to pitch in an extended spring training game Tuesday.

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