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Despite slow start, Yankees’ Tyler Austin stays upbeat

New York Yankees Tyler Austin (26) with his

New York Yankees Tyler Austin (26) with his first homer to right during the second inning of the game at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Unlike Gary Sanchez, Tyler Austin has not gotten off to a fast start in his Yankees career, but he is maintaining a positive outlook.

“It’s been an amazing experience being up here,’’ he said. “I still don’t even think I realize that I’m even up here.’’

Austin broke in with a home run in his first major league at-bat. He hasn’t done much since, hitting .138 in eight games with two runs batted in. With Mark Teixeira relatively healthy, the chances for Austin to play first base have dwindled.

He pinch-hit for Teixeira Saturday and grounded out, even though his roller went under the glove of pitcher Brad Brach. Austin was slow getting out of the box and then stumbled a bit when he reached first base. He said he was fine. “It seemed a little out of his personality,’’ Joe Girardi said.

Austin hopes to compete with highly regarded Greg Bird for a starting job next season. “I’m going to come out there next spring and do everything I can to make a statement,’’ he said. “Hopefully things will work out.’’

Sabathia gets the call

Lefthander CC Sabathia will start Sunday against the Orioles instead of righty Michael Pineda, Joe Girardi said. “We flip-flopped them,’’ Girardi said. “Looking at some things. Baltimore and Kansas City. Lefthanders have had more success off of Baltimore, right handers have had more success off of kansas City so we decided to flip them.’’

Summing up Sanchez

What will Gary Sanchez’s game look like when he levels off from his hot streak? “I think there’s power there,’’ Girardi said. “They say when people are going bad they’re never as bad as they look and when they’re going great they’re never as great as they look, so I’m sure it’s somewhere in-between. But I think that he has the ability to put streaks together because he’s extremely talented.’’

As for his start in the big leagues, Girardi said, “I don’t think you would expect this from anybody — in the game.’’

Judge on the bench

Aaron Judge, down to .225 after his hot start, was not in the starting lineup. “I’m kind of keeping all the outfielders involved,’’ Girardi said. “Aaron will be back in there [Sunday].’’ Judge pinch-hit in the seventh inning and struck out. Aaron Hicks started in right and had three hits, including a two-run homer.

Torreyes over Headley

Despite homering Friday night, Chase Headley did not start at third base as Girardi went with Ronald Torreyes. “As I said and he [Headley] understands, we’re going with the hot hand,’’ Girardi said. “He wants to be in there and I get that but Torreyes has played really well.’’

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