The Yankees showed faith in outfield prospect Tyler Austin this offseason, giving him a spot on the 40-man roster and starting him at the Triple-A level, just one step from the majors, for the first time in his career.
Austin responded by batting .194 with two home runs through May 20.
When outfielders were needed in the Bronx, Slade Heathcott and Ramon Flores were summoned. Austin, 23 and a 13th round pick (2010) was in danger of playing himself out of the conversation.
But Austin still may be someone to talk about.
In 16 games since May 21, the corner outfielder has hit .296 (16-for-54) with a .396 on-base percentage, two doubles, two home runs and three stolen bases.
Austin's latest effort was a 2-for-3 showing with a walk in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's 5-1 win over Buffalo on Tuesday.
Jaron Long, the son of former Yankees and current Mets hitting coach Kevin Long, started the game, striking out two in five innings, with six hits, two walks and one run allowed. It was the second outing in a row with only one run allowed for Long and it lowered his ERA to a season-best 4.22.
The RailRiders (32-27, 1st place in International League North) also won the resumption of Monday's suspended game, 2-1, over Buffalo. Diego Moreno picked up in the fifth inning where Bryan Mitchell left off, firing three scoreless innings of one-hit ball to earn the win. Chris Martin struck out two in a perfect inning of relief, and Jose Ramirez pitched a perfect ninth with one strikeout for his eighth save of the season.
Elsewhere in the minor leagues
(33-25, 2nd place in Eastern League Eastern, 2.5 games back)
Shortstop Brendan Ryan, rehabbing a calf strain, was 1-for-2, but the Thunder fell to Erie, 3-2. Ryan is 6-for-22 with two doubles and two walks in seven rehab games. He was activated by the Yankees for Wednesday's game vs. the Nationals.
SINGLE-A ADVANCED TAMPA
(29-29, 2nd place in Florida State League North, 4 games back)
Designated hitter Dante Bichette was 3-for-4 with a triple, but Tampa lost to Jupiter, 6-2.
(28-30, 4th place in South Atlantic League Southern, 3 games back)
Designated hitter Chris Breen homered and centerfielder Dustin Fowler was 2-for-4 with a double, but Charleston fell to Hickory, 5-2.
ROOKIE - DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE 1
(6-3, 1st place in DSL Boca Chica South)
Lefthander Carlos Diaz struck out seven in five innings, allowing four hits, one walk and one run in a 7-1 win over the DSL Dodgers. Gabriel Giron struck out two in four scoreless innings of relief for the save, allowing one hit and one walk. Leftfielder Dario Unda homered and walked and designated hitter Lisandro Blanco tripled and walked.
ROOKIE - DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE 2
(4-5, T-8th place in DSL Boca Chica North, 3 games back)
Third baseman Griffin Garabito was 2-for-4 with a walk, and Havid Burgos struck out five in three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win in the Yankees' 6-3 victory over the DSL Rangers 2.