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.
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.