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Yankees will rethink their Matt Holliday plan in NL parks


PITTSBURGH — It was something of a lost weekend for Matt Holliday, who had just three plate appearances as a pinch hitter against the Pirates.

The Yankees’ regular designated hitter drew a one-out walk against lefty closer Tony Watson in the Yankees’ failed ninth-inning comeback in a 2-1 loss at PNC Park and didn’t get on base in either of his two other at-bats in the three-game series.

Joe Girardi sounded uncomfortable with the idea of putting Holliday in the field before the interleague series began and it showed.

But the manager wouldn’t rule out changing his strategy for the next time the Yankees visit a National League park, which will happen with the Cubs and Reds, starting May 5.

“I’ll see what we do on the next trip,” Girardi said.

Regardless of how often he’s playing, Holliday still is trying to get going at the plate, mired in a 2-for-24 slump with nine strikeouts.

In the meantime, Holliday will be back in the lineup when the Yankees visit the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Tuesday.


Brett Gardner is one of several Yankees stuck in a lengthy slump that has been somewhat overshadowed by the team’s solid start. The skid has stretched to 2-for-24 since being removed from a game on April 12 following a collision at first base with Tampa Bay’s Rickie Weeks, Jr.

“I feel pretty good,” Gardner said before going hitless on Sunday. “I’m just not hitting right now.”

Girardi has kept the left fielder at the top of the lineup and pointed to the fact that Gardner still has managed to get on base, with seven walks in his last seven games.

“I believe they’ll get going,” Girardi said of Gardner, Holliday and Greg Bird, now in a 1-for-19 slump after going 0-for-3 Sunday. “I thought Gardner hit the ball hard twice [Sunday]. Bird’s at-bats have been good and Matt had a good at-bat. I’d like to get them going sooner than later, but I feel really good about them.”


Didi Gregorius (shoulder) went 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored in his third rehab game for Single-A Tampa on Sunday. He served as the DH and Girardi expects him to get a day off Monday and then return to shortstop Monday and Tuesday. Gary Sanchez is expected to start taking batting practice in the cage in the coming days, as his comeback from a biceps strain continues.


Bryan Mitchell pitched into and out of trouble in the eighth Sunday. He loaded the bases with no one out and escaped unscathed.

“He did a good job of getting out of that inning,’’ Girardi said. “That could have become a problem for him.”

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