Pineda helps Yankees finish sweep of Rays

Pineda helps Yankees finish sweep of Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- Chase Headley and Mark Teixeira each drove in a pair of runs to support another solid effort from Michael Pineda, helping the Yankees complete a series sweep of the Rays with a 5-3 victory on Sunday at Tropicana Field.

Headley followed Teixeira's third-inning RBI groundout with a run-scoring single, highlighting the attack against Tampa Bay starter Matt Andriese, who took his first big league loss after permitting four runs and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miller rising to stage in save situations

Miller rising to stage in save situations

ST. PETERSBURG -- There was no crash course given on how to handle the pressures of the ninth inning, but since Andrew Miller seems to be handling the adjustment just fine, there is no reason for the Yankees to tinker with the formula.

Miller has not been officially anointed as the Yanks' closer, but he is taking on those responsibilities nonetheless. Miller locked down his fourth save in as many chances on Sunday, pitching around a leadoff double to secure the Yanks' 5-3 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

All cylinders clicking as Yankees find groove

All cylinders clicking as Yankees find groove

ST. PETERSBURG -- Last week, Alex Rodriguez stood in front of a locker in the visiting clubhouse at Camden Yards and spoke about the "four facets" that the Yankees needed to do consistently if they were to achieve their goals this season: good pitching, good defense, timely hitting and baserunning.

Manager Joe Girardi scowled outside that same room and put it more bluntly -- if his team didn't tighten up all areas of its game, it could make for a long season. Consider that challenge answered for the moment, as the Yankees bobbed back to the .500 mark on Sunday by completing a series sweep of the Rays at Tropicana Field.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Young, Yankees proving mutually good fit

Young, Yankees proving mutually good fit

ST. PETERSBURG -- Part of the appeal for Chris Young in last season's borough switch was that he was able to keep the same apartment, commuting to Yankee Stadium instead of Citi Field. The veteran outfielder has discovered that he is much more at home wearing pinstripes.

Young has picked up in 2015 where he left off last season, continuing to provide a power boost off the bench. Since joining the Yanks last September, 17 of his 28 hits have gone for extra bases -- including his third career grand slam in Saturday's 9-0 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sabathia looking for first win of '15 in opener vs. Tigers

Sabathia looking for first win of '15 in opener vs. Tigers

The Yankees and Tigers will open a four-game series on Monday at Comerica Park, with left-hander CC Sabathia taking the ball against right-hander Alfredo Simon.

Sabathia is looking for his first victory since April 24, 2014, as he takes on the Tigers, a club against which he has registered 19 career wins. Sabathia is coming off a loss to the Orioles in Baltimore on Tuesday, in which he allowed four runs and seven hits in seven innings.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Drew's 100th homer puts him, brother in elite group

Stephen, J.D. become 8th pair of siblings to each reach century mark

Drew's 100th homer puts him, brother in elite group

ST. PETERSBURG -- Growing up in Valdosta, Ga., Stephen Drew used to chase his older brothers around the front yard, trying to keep up in their neighborhood pickup baseball and football games. All these years later, he's still catching up.

Drew slugged his 100th career home run in Friday's 5-4 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field, joining his brother J.D. as the eighth pair of brothers to each hit at least 100 homers in the Major Leagues.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tanaka zeros in with 7 shutout innings

Yankees thrilled with right-hander's fastball command in third start of season

Tanaka zeros in with 7 shutout innings

ST. PETERSBURG -- From a distance of 60 feet and six inches, Brian McCann peered between the bars of his catcher's mask and saw the most encouraging thing that the Yankees could have put on display Saturday evening: a healthy and efficient Masahiro Tanaka.

Tanaka was not thrilled with his first two outings of the year, but even the harshest critic could not find much to be upset about in No. 3. Tanaka handcuffed the Rays to two hits over seven scoreless innings, striking out eight and walking none in a 9-0 victory at Tropicana Field.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Seventh heaven: Yanks erupt with Tanaka dealing

Seventh heaven: Yanks erupt with Tanaka dealing

ST. PETERSBURG -- Masahiro Tanaka made strides toward recapturing his dominant form of a season ago, Brian McCann legged out a two-run triple, and Chris Young hit a grand slam late, leading the Yankees to a 9-0 victory over the Rays on Saturday night at Tropicana Field.

Tanaka was unsatisfied with his first two starts of the season, but the right-hander was on point this time, handcuffing Tampa Bay's lineup to two hits over seven innings. Tanaka retired 15 straight after a leadoff single in the first, ringing up eight strikeouts without a walk.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A-Rod swinging hot bat as he adjusts to DH

Rodriguez working to stay active between at-bats, heeds advice from longtime DH Martinez

A-Rod swinging hot bat as he adjusts to DH

ST. PETERSBURG -- Alex Rodriguez has repeatedly said he did not know what to expect coming into this season, shaking off the rust following what essentially was a 17-month layoff, but it is difficult to imagine his first 10 games having a greater impact on the field.

Rodriguez entered play on Saturday leading the Yankees with 11 RBIs, batting .344 (11-for-32) with four homers. The rest of the Yankees have combined to bat .209 (67-for-320) to start the season, and Rodriguez said he is surprised how well he has taken to life as a designated hitter.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yanks considering using sixth starter on occasion

Yanks considering using sixth starter on occasion

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Yankees began a stretch Friday that will see them play 30 games in the next 31 days, and manager Joe Girardi said that the club is seriously considering inserting a sixth starter at some point to alleviate the strain on its rotation.

Girardi named Bryan Mitchell, Esmil Rogers and Chase Whitley among the most likely candidates to be given a spot start. Rogers is currently serving as the Yankees' long reliever, while Mitchell and Whitley are with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miller finishes off solid effort by Yanks' bullpen vs. Rays

Miller finishes off solid effort by Yanks' bullpen vs. Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- The bullpen phone rang last for Andrew Miller once again, and though the Yankees have not officially named Miller as their closer, he certainly appears to be comfortable handling the duties of the ninth inning.

Miller recorded the final four outs of the Yankees' 5-4 victory over the Rays on Friday at Tropicana Field, securing his third save of the season in as many opportunities. He was preceded by Dellin Betances, who logged three outs around a hit in his sharpest outing of the young season.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Beltran could sit out weekend with head cold

Beltran could sit out weekend with head cold

ST. PETERSBURG -- Yankees outfielder Carlos Beltran could be sidelined for the rest of the weekend due to illness, manager Joe Girardi said on Saturday.

"He's got that bad congestion, a bad cold that's kind of been going around our team," Girardi said. "He sounds really bad. He was bad yesterday and he's worse today."

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A-Rod carries Yanks to victory in series opener vs. Rays

A-Rod carries Yanks to victory in series opener vs. Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- Alex Rodriguez homered twice and drove in the go-ahead run with a late single, collecting four RBIs and leading the Yankees to a 5-4 victory over the Rays on Friday evening at Tropicana Field.

Rodriguez connected for his 657th and 658th career homers, slugging a second-inning solo shot off starter Nathan Karns and a two-run, game-tying shot off Ernesto Frieri in the sixth. Rodriguez then knocked in pinch-runner Brett Gardner with the deciding run in the eighth, lining a full-count single to center field off Kevin Jepsen.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gardner feels good after taking swings in batting cage

Gardner feels good after taking swings in batting cage

ST. PETERSBURG -- Brett Gardner said that his bruised right wrist is improving, and he hopes that a full batting-practice session Friday will permit him to return to the Yankees' lineup.

Gardner has not played since Monday in Baltimore, when he was hit by a pitch from the Orioles' Wei-Yin Chen. X-rays taken in Baltimore and an MRI performed on Thursday showed only a bone bruise, and Gardner said that he is close to getting back on the field.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A-Rod collects first multi-HR game since 2012

A-Rod collects first multi-HR game since 2012

ST. PETERSBURG -- Alex Rodriguez insists that he isn't thinking about how many times he has circled the bases in his big league career, though his teammates seem well aware that the number now stands at 658. The slugger says that his focus is on continuing to hit the ball hard and help the Yankees win games.

Rodriguez continues to swing the hottest bat in the Yankees' lineup, celebrating the 61st multi-homer game of his career on Friday and powering New York's 5-4 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field, collecting three hits and driving in four runs.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

With big shoes to fill, Didi looking to find his footing

First week of season brought some bumps for new Yankees shortstop

With big shoes to fill, Didi looking to find his footing

TAMPA, Fla. -- The chants, playful in nature, started raining down upon Didi Gregorius during his first homestand at Yankee Stadium. Up by 10 runs late against the Red Sox, the young shortstop flubbed what could have been a routine double-play ball.

"De-rek Je-ter," the echoes came from the three decks, and Gregorius could only laugh at the reminder of the challenges ahead.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Story behind Betances' pitch selection?

Beat reporter Bryan Hoch answers questions from Yankees fans

Inbox: Story behind Betances' pitch selection?

I've noticed there have been a good amount of breaking balls thrown by Dellin Betances. Is this an attempt to give hitters something else to worry about? To save his arm? As someone who was so effective last season with fastballs in the upper 90s, I was wondering why you think he has moved off the speed game.
-- Matt B., Dudley, Mass.

You made me curious to check the numbers, and there's not as dramatic a shift you might think. According to Brooks Baseball, Betances used his four-seam fastball 710 times (52.28 percent) and his curveball 644 times (47.42 percent) times in 2014. This year, you're correct in that Betances has used his curve (59 times) more than his four-seamer (57 times), but it's such a small sample size that it doesn't raise a red flag.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miss the players, not the game: Jeter content in retirement

Former Yankees shortstop happy with decision, in touch with some teammates

Miss the players, not the game: Jeter content in retirement

Former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is staying busy with his The Players' Tribune venture and other charity work, but he said Wednesday night on SiriusXM radio that he doesn't miss the game "at all."

Speaking to hosts Ben Lyons and Ryan Duffy, Jeter reiterated that it was the "right time" for him to retire and said he's content with what he's doing now.

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Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sabathia happy with how MLB honors Robinson's legacy

Sabathia happy with how MLB honors Robinson's legacy

BALTIMORE -- CC Sabathia grew up in a household where the story of Jackie Robinson was often re-told, and as the Yankees left-hander slips on No. 42 with the rest of the league on Wednesday, he believes that Major League Baseball has done a good job of keeping the barrier-breaking great's legacy alive.

"I think it's great," Sabathia said. "It's exciting that we get a chance to wear it. I think it's a big-time honor to be able to wear it. I think it's great that we honor him that way and we are able to put something together where it's meaningful and people kind of get it every year. It's cool."

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yanks lose lead in series finale vs. O's

Yanks lose lead in series finale vs. O's

BALTIMORE -- Chris Davis drove in three runs, including a key two-run double in a five-run sixth inning, as the Orioles rallied for a 7-5 victory over the Yankees in the series finale Wednesday night.

The Orioles (5-4) won two of three from the Yankees (3-6) in this series. Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop both hit solo homers as the Orioles rallied from an early 3-1 deficit. Brad Brach (1-0) earned the win with two innings of scoreless relief, and Zach Britton got his third save.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rare bullpen blip spoils Eovaldi's bid for first win

Right-hander fans nine over five before O's rally against relievers

Rare bullpen blip spoils Eovaldi's bid for first win

BALTIMORE -- The Yankees were past the halfway point on Wednesday, Nathan Eovaldi had nine strikeouts in the books, and manager Joe Girardi was looking ahead to having his bullpen -- excellent thus far in 2015 -- wrap up the final four innings.

It did not work out that way, as David Carpenter and Justin Wilson stumbled in the sixth inning. The Orioles batted around for five runs and five hits, powering a 7-5 victory in the rubber game of the three-game set at Camden Yards.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yanks' offense still searching for boost as A-Rod swings big

Rodriguez hits second home run of season in Wednesday's loss to O's

Yanks' offense still searching for boost as A-Rod swings big

BALTIMORE -- Alex Rodriguez said that his fourth-inning home run on Wednesday, No. 656 on his career ledger, felt "amazing off the bat" and was the best ball he has hit all year. Through nine games, he has proven that he can still swing at this level, though he is still waiting for his Yankees to get on a roll.

The Yankees have lost each of their first three series to American League East rivals, dropping sets in succession to the Blue Jays, Red Sox and Orioles. Rodriguez said after Wednesday's 7-5 loss at Camden Yards that the Yankees need to tighten up as a unit.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Minor Leaguer Rodriguez suspended for violating drug program

Minor Leaguer Rodriguez suspended for violating drug program

BALTIMORE -- Yankees Minor League right-hander Wilking Rodriguez has received an 80-game suspension without pay after violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment program, it was announced on Wednesday.

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball said that Rodriguez tested positive for Furosemide, a performance-enhancing substance. The 25-year-old was in big league camp with the Yankees this spring and had been assigned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees recall RHP Pinder from Triple-A

Right-hander De La Cruz sent to Double-A; Davies clears waives, sent to Minors

Yankees recall RHP Pinder from Triple-A

BALTIMORE -- The revolving spot in the back of the Yankees' bullpen has landed on right-hander Branden Pinder, who was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre prior to Wednesday's game against the Orioles.

Pinder, 26, had appeared in two games for the RailRiders, pitching three scoreless innings. He was 3-0 with a 2.06 ERA in 29 games (four starts) at three levels in the Yankees' farm system last season and pitched with the big club this past spring.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB head of youth sports Reagins discusses game's future

MLB head of youth sports Reagins discusses game's future

LOS ANGELES -- Tony Reagins has spent decades in the game of baseball, and he's worked in everything from marketing to baseball operations. Reagins, formerly the general manager of the Angels, has taken on a new assignment with Major League Baseball as the senior vice president of youth programs, and he took some time Tuesday to discuss his plans for the future.

Reagins, under new Commissioner Rob Manfred, will be in charge of consolidating the league's relationships with youth, high school and college baseball organizations around the country. Reagins attended the Civil Rights Game instructional clinic Tuesday at Rancho Cienega Recreation Center, and he spoke a bit about Jackie Robinson, the Urban Youth Academies and the future of the game.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rave reviews for CC, despite so-so results in loss to Orioles

Sabathia strikes out seven, drops to 0-2, but Yankees encouraged by healthy-looking lefty

Rave reviews for CC, despite so-so results in loss to Orioles

BALTIMORE -- The Yankees continue to buzz about the encouraging signs that they have seen in CC Sabathia's return to the mound, but through two starts, the final results have not matched the observations.

Sabathia was handed his second loss of the young season on Tuesday, permitting four runs and seven hits in a 4-3 loss to the Orioles at Camden Yards. He struck out seven and became the first Yankee to complete seven innings this season, an effort that generated positive reviews in the clubhouse.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.