Long trusts Yankees' vets to hit when it counts

Long trusts Yankees' vets to hit when it counts

DETROIT -- On Sunday, a day after the Yankees' struggles with men in scoring position factored significantly into a 4-3 loss to the Tigers, hitting coach Kevin Long spoke about the recent troubles and how he hopes the team can break out of them.

"It's not fun -- it's not enjoyable," Long said candidly. "But what more can we do? We've talked about it, exhausted the process. We want these guys to be relaxed and calm."

The Yankees were 1-for-12 with men in scoring position on Saturday night during a game from which Long and manager Joe Girardi were ejected in the seventh inning after arguing balls and strikes with home-plate umpire Bob Davidson.

Sluggers Curtis Granderson (10-for-44 this year) and Alex Rodriguez (9-for-51) both struggled with men on base in the game, as they have much of the year.

"You've just got to trust that these guys continue to work, continue to battle," Long said. "One good at-bat could change it in a heartbeat. Obviously, sooner would be better than later."

Long, the Yankees' hitting coach since 2007, said the issues are not physical and he thinks the players have had good approaches at the plate; they drew four walks and had two batters hit by a pitch on Saturday.

"This isn't black or white," Long said. "This is about one guy getting a hit, then the next, then the next."