ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Maybe, finally, things are starting to turn for Carlos Beltran.
The 38-year-old rightfielder, who ended April with a .162/.216/.265 slash line, hit his first homer of the season Sunday, part of a day in which he reached base all four plate appearances.
"He's looked a lot better in the month of May," Joe Girardi said.
A month in which Beltran, who batted second Monday as Jacoby Ellsbury received the day off, had a .313/.353/.531 slash line entering the night.
"We saw progress in his swing," Girardi said of Beltran's April struggles. "It wasn't always showing up in hits but we saw progress. Now it's showing up in base hits and he's driving the ball and that's what we need him to do."
He kept doing it last night, hitting his second home run in two days in the fifth.
Bullpen for Tanaka
Masahiro Tanaka (right wrist tendinitis/right forearm strain) threw in the outfield before Monday's game, a session that included 10 tosses from 60 feet in which pitching coach Larry Rothschild was in a crouch. Tanaka will throw his first bullpen of his rehab Tuesday.
Michael Pineda was named the AL Player of the Week after going 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA with one walk and 22 strikeouts in 15 innings. Pineda, who struck out 16 Sunday, was the first Yankees pitcher to win the award since Mariano Rivera in September 2011. Pineda, 5-0 with a 2.72 ERA, has struck out 54 and walked three in 46 1/3 innings.
Brendan Ryan (calf), who had a setback during a rehab assignment May 2 when he tweaked a hamstring, took BP, worked in the field and did agility drills yesterday . . . Ivan Nova (elbow) will pitch in a third extended spring outing Tuesday.