Beltran, Yankees continue homestand to “dictate what the future holds”

AP_16198757168456

The Yankees answered the call, at least for one night, as they rallied behind Joe Girardi’s message of urgency to post a 3-1 victory over the Red Sox. They won’t have much of an opportunity to savor it, as another big series with the Orioles opens tonight at Yankee Stadium.

“It was good; must-win for us,” Carlos Beltran said. “Now we have Baltimore, who’s playing good baseball also, so it’s an important series. You know, this homestand is important overall for us. I think this homestand will dictate what the future holds for a lot of guys here.”

Girardi said that his players are well aware of the situation, with players like Beltran, Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller consistently popping up in trade rumors, along with the likes of Brett Gardner, Nathan Eovaldi and – to some extent – tonight’s starter, Ivan Nova.

“We did talk about, you have to block out the noise, and you just have to go out and play, basically,” Girardi said. “You can’t worry about what you’re not in control of. What we’re in control of is wins and losses and how we perform. That’s really the only thing you can worry about.

“They’re aware of it. I don’t want it to be their focus. I want their focus to be, if you’re a position player, playing defense and you’re facing Gausman; and if you’re Ivan Nova, how you get their guys out. That needs to be their focus.”

The Yankees are 45-46 and open the evening 8 1/2 games back of the division-leading Orioles. Incredibly, this is Baltimore’s first visit of the season to The Bronx.

YESTERDAY’S NEWS

Challenged by Girardi, Yanks edge Red Sox
Nova set to start as Yankees welcome Orioles
Tanaka pitch looks like it’s from another dimension
In must-win situation, Yankees respond
Tanaka takes charge, stymies Red Sox
Sunday’s defensive star was the Yankees’ ball boy

“NOW BATTING FOR THE YANKEES”

CLUBHOUSE REPORT

The Yankees are not certain if Mark Teixeira will be available to play first base during this series against the Orioles, and Girardi says that he plans to stick with Rob Refsnyder at the position rather than experiment with Alex Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said that he took ground balls over the All-Star break after seeing his role reduced to a part-time designated hitter. He worked out at first base on Friday with infield coach Joe Espada, but Girardi said that he does not yet view Rodriguez as a legitimate option to start.

“He’s just had the one day of work, so I’m not ready to commit to that yet,” Girardi said. “Right now I’m going with Ref there. Alex is DHing tonight so I’m going with Ref there. It’s something that we’ll continue to talk about, but we’ll stick for Ref for now.”

Refsnyder, 25, had never played first base professionally before this season, but the converted outfielder says that he is gaining comfort at the position. Monday will mark Refsnyder’s 21st game and 17th start at first base for the Yankees.

Teixeira had X-rays and a CT scan after fouling a ball off his left foot in Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Red Sox, both of which came back negative. Teixeira said that he is still sore and would not be able to play on Monday, and Girardi said that he doesn’t expect Teixeira to play on Tuesday either.

Teixeira is batting just .186 with seven homers and 20 RBIs in 63 games this season. His season ended last year due to what was eventually revealed to be a fractured right leg, sustained when he fouled a ball off himself in an Aug. 17 game against the Twins.

THEY SAID IT

“My goal every day is to go in and say, ‘Can I play today?’ Today is a no-go, but hopefully [Tuesday]. Who knows? I want to be back as soon as possible.” – Teixeira.

STAT SO?
The “No Runs DMC” trio of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman have posted a combined 1.28 ERA (8 ER/56.1 IP) when they all pitch in the same game. They’ve struck out 88 of the 208 batters faced (42.3%) in those games.

ON THIS DATE
July 18, 1999: 27 up, 27 down. Baseball immortality for David Cone.

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