Yanks hope Giambi has turned it around

Yanks hope Giambi has turned it around

DETROIT -- Bobby Meacham had both palms firmly jutting toward the left-field wall, doing everything he physically could to stop Jason Giambi, short of actually interfering with the play and tackling the chugging Yankees' first baseman.

The third-base coach should get some credit for trying, but his frantic cries were but an exercise in futility. It didn't affect the final outcome of Saturday's 5-2 Yankees victory over the Tigers, but Giambi's overaggressive baserunning made for quite a sideshow.

"I put my head down to see the bag, and the Big G can't slow down," Giambi said. "Once the train gets going, there's no brakes. I need to pull the rip cord or there's no chance."

The play occurred with two outs in the fifth inning, as the Yankees chased Tigers right-hander Jeremy Bonderman in favor of reliever Bobby Seay. Robinson Cano stroked a single through the hole, and Giambi took off from second base, stomping around the third-base bag and running clear through a stop sign.

The throw came home from Detroit right fielder Magglio Ordonez, and catcher Ivan Rodriguez threw to Carlos Guillen at third base to retire a scrambling Giambi, who later laughed that his chances would have been better if he'd just tried to motor through the plate.

"I should have just kept going," Giambi said. "The Big G is coming."

All joking aside, the Yankees have been mildly encouraged by signs that, well, the Big G may actually be coming -- around, that is. Giambi's batting average still sits at an unsightly .183, but he pounded an RBI double in Saturday's game and he has five hits in his last 13 at-bats (.384), including two homers, six RBIs and three runs scored.

"That's the kind of guy he is," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Jason, in his career, has carried lineups. He's a big hitter for us."

Giambi said that he has been hitting the ball hard for most of the year, so it is finally nice to be getting some results for it -- and particularly putting the ball in play so often, as the slugger has not struck out twice in a game since April 20.

He said the important thing is that he and hitting coach Kevin Long have continued to work, and they have decided that there were no more major adjustments to be made.

"I just keep hitting the ball hard and the results are going to come," Giambi said. "I know it's kind of a tough thing, because the game is so results-oriented to not think about it, but at the same time, I knew I was doing the right ingredients -- getting a good pitch to hit, hitting it hard and eventually they were going to start to fall."

Pitching matchup
NYY: LHP Andy Pettitte (3-3, 3.77 ERA)
Pettitte started and recorded a no-decision in his 400th career start on Tuesday, despite limiting the Indians to two earned runs in 6 1/3 innings and striking out a season-high six batters. His only blemish was a two-run homer to Jhonny Peralta on a sinker that did not cut quite enough, a problem Pettitte continues to fight in his bullpen sessions. He lost to the Tigers on April 30 in New York, allowing five earned runs in six innings for his third loss.

DET: LHP Nate Robertson (1-4, 6.64 ERA)
Robertson doesn't have a quality start in seven outings so far this year, and he has been inefficient with his pitches in his past two outings. Still, if he can repeat the last five innings of his victory over the Yankees on May 1, he'd be pretty happy, considering he gave up a three-run home run to Bobby Abreu three batters into his outing that night.

Derek Jeter is batting .359 (155-for-431) lifetime against Detroit pitching, the best of all active players with a minimum of 200 plate appearances. ... Abreu is hitting .412 (14-for-34) at Comerica Park and .367 (28-for-79) with four homers and 15 RBIs against Detroit overall. ... The Yankees will recall infielder Alberto Gonzalez from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before Sunday's game. ... The Yankees are 7-11 vs. the American League Central after going 30-11 against the division in 2007.

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 Gameday Audio
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Up next
• Monday: Yankees (Chien-Ming Wang, 6-1, 3.12) at Rays (Matt Garza, 1-1, 4.91), 7:10 p.m. ET
• Tuesday: Yankees (Mike Mussina, 5-3, 4.36) at Rays (Edwin Jackson, 2-3, 4.04), 7:10 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Yankees (Kei Igawa, 0-1, 18.00) at Rays (James Shields, 4-2, 3.14), 7:10 p.m. ET

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