Overcast 36° Good Evening
Overcast 36° Good Evening

Joe Girardi says Brett Gardner is using the whole field better

Brett Gardner of the New York Yankees follows

Brett Gardner of the New York Yankees follows through on a first inning RBI double against the Los Angeles Angels at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, June 8, 2016. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Joe Girardi hasn’t noticed a significant physical difference in the Brett Gardner he’s seeing now at the plate compared to the one who, not too long ago, was in a 0-for-24 slide.

“I think he’s using the whole field, which I think has helped, and sometimes you’re seeing the ball better,” Girardi said. “But a lot of times when guys go through their struggles, they’re just missing their pitches. They walk a real fine line. Now he’s not missing them.”

Gardner entered Saturday night’s game with an eight-game hitting streak. He was 16-for-30 during that stretch, raising his average from .211 to .262, and scored 11 runs.

The Yankees, not coincidentally in Girardi’s eyes, entered Saturday with a chance to match their season high of six straight victories.

“He’s finding ways to use the whole field,” Girardi said. “And he’s been a big part of this winning streak.”

Full-time at first

Because of a slew of injuries, Rob Refsnyder, until further notice, is the everyday first baseman. It is a position the 25-year-old never played until June 3, when he replaced an injured Mark Teixeira.

“I give him a lot of credit because this is not something easy,” Girardi said. “And he has embraced it, and I think he’s done a pretty good job. There’s going to be some ups and downs because there’s some plays that he’s never really experienced. But I give him a lot of credit.”

Four score and…

The Yankees entered Saturday night with the second-best winning percentage in the majors this season when scoring at least four runs (25-4, .862), trailing the Cubs (37-2, .949).

But they also had scored two or fewer runs 24 times, going 2-22 in those games.

The other McCann

Girardi has been impressed with James McCann, the Tigers’ 25-year-old catcher (no relation to Brian).

“It’s not easy being a young catcher, especially when you have a lot of experienced pitchers like he has,” Girardi said. “All these guys were pretty used to [Alex] Avila, and I think he’s done a really good job.”

Avila, a Tigers catcher from 2009-15, is now with the White Sox.

Extra bases

Chasen Shreven, on the disabled list since May 26 with a joint sprain in his left shoulder, will pitch in a rehab outing for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Sunday in Columbus against the Clippers . . . Entering Saturday night, Alex Rodriguez had five career homers against Tigers starter Justin Verlander, including one in each of his last four regular-season games against the righthander. One of those was his 3,000th career hit June 19, 2015.

New York Sports