Starlin Castro, who had been sidelined with a hamstring injury, returned to the Yankees’ lineup Friday night and was 1-for-5 with a double in a 2-1, 11-inning loss to the Seattle Mariners.
Rehabbing Greg Bird, though, was left out for another day, most likely because Seattle started lefthander Ariel Miranda. With the Mariners slated to start righthander Yovani Gallardo on Saturday, the lefthanded-hitting Bird could get the call for his first major-league action since May 1.
Bird went 2-for-2 for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Friday and is 10-for-23 (.435) with three homers and six RBIs in his rehab assignment. He was removed after two at-bats for a pinch hitter. Scranton manager Al Pedrique said after the game that Bird will be coming up to the Yankees on Saturday. Joe Girardi would not confirm this.
“We’re facing a lefthander [Friday night],” Girardi said before the game. “We’re going to have him get some more at-bats and we’ll go from there.”
Asked if Bird will return Saturday, he said: “Don’t get ahead of yourself. Today’s Friday.”
Bird has been bothered by an ankle injury since spring training and hit .100 (6-for-60) before going on the disabled list. He underwent surgery on July 18 after months of false starts.
In the race
The Yankees will play only teams that are, at the moment, in playoff contention the rest of the season. Girardi was asked if he alerted his players to that fact.
“I think they would have to have their head in the sand not to know that every team that we’re going to play here on out has playoff aspirations,” he said. “And if they don’t know that, we’ve got a lot bigger issues than I thought.”