Hamstring better, Swisher back with a bang

Hamstring better, Swisher back with a bang

KANSAS CITY -- Nick Swisher got his chance to prove that a week on the bench didn't cool off his hot start, returning to the Yankees' lineup in Sunday's 10-4 win over the Royals. It didn't take long for the switch-hitter to make a statement.

Swisher chased Royals starter Luke Hochevar with a third-inning homer, his seventh of the year. He finished 1-for-5 but said that working with hitting coach Kevin Long during the series at Kauffman Stadium kept him sharp.

"We've been working the past three, four days," Swisher said. "I've been with K-Long, working in the cage, really trying to stay consistent and do the same thing every day. My mindset has been good. More than anything, it was just good to get out there. I had a blast today."

Swisher had been out of action since April 29 with a tight left hamstring, but he passed all tests after running the bases during batting practice on Saturday afternoon, including twice taking a bow when he reached third base. Swisher could take it easy by trotting after his homer, but he feels ready to get back in the outfield on Tuesday against the Rays at Yankee Stadium.

"I don't like missing any time anyways," Swisher said. "For it to be something as little as this, maybe we took a couple more days than what we needed to, but it's a long season and you want to be out there every single day you can be. I think the training staff and everyone did a great job."