PITTSBURGH — Even if Ronald Torreyes has three or four more games in the next week like Saturday’s, when he had four hits, Joe Girardi said that won’t make a difference.
When Didi Gregorius is ready to return, which could be as soon as next weekend, he’ll be back in the lineup.
“Didi is our shortstop,” Girardi said before Sunday’s game.
The manager said “it’s possible” Gregorius could be back in the lineup Friday night when the Yankees return home to start a weekend series against the Orioles.
Torreyes, who went 1-for-4 Sunday, is hitting .293.
Gregorius played a third straight rehab game Sunday afternoon and went 2-for-5 with a double as the designated hitter after playing the first two games in the field. He has not experienced any setbacks and is hitting .364 in his three starts.
“He’ll have a day off tomorrow and then play on Tuesday, Wednesday and go from there,” Girardi said.
Gardner, Bird still struggling
Brett Gardner went 0-for-3 with a walk on Sunday, extending his recent skid to 4-for-39. Gardner, who has a .182/.318/.236 slash line in 15 games, did sting two balls, lining out to center in the third and flying to deep right in the sixth.
Greg Bird hit a rope in his first at-bat, but it was a line drive straight into pitcher Ivan Nova’s glove, the start of a day in which he went 0-for-3 to drop his average to .104 (5-for-48). Bird also flied out, grounded out and walked.
“I really believe they’ll get going,” Girardi said. “I thought Gardy hit the ball hard twice. I think Bird’s at-bats have been good. You’d like to get them going sooner rather than later, but I feel really good about them.”
Mitchell getting it done
Bryan Mitchell kept it a 2-1 game in the seventh, loading the bases with none out, then pitching out of it. He pitched a scoreless eighth and lowered his ERA to 1.04 in seven appearances.