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Nunez slotted in Yanks' lineup to face lefty

Nunez slotted in Yanks' lineup to face lefty

Nunez slotted in Yanks' lineup to face lefty
BALTIMORE -- The Yankees are carrying Eduardo Nunez on the American League Division Series roster for his ability to hit left-handed pitching, and Nunez got his first cracks in Monday's 3-2, Game 2 loss against the Orioles' Wei-Yin Chen.

Nunez popped out in his first two plate appearances, but flared a double to right field and scored on a Derek Jeter single in the seventh before fouling out in the eighth inning.

"He's done a good job in these situations," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before the game. "He's swung the bat pretty well against lefties for us lately, so that's why we have him here."

Nunez batted .360 (18-for-50) with three doubles, a triple and six RBIs against left-handed pitching during the regular season.

His role is one that was filled largely this year by Andruw Jones, who batted just .142 with three homers and 12 RBIs in the second half and said that he didn't think he deserved to be on the ALDS roster.

Girardi said that he is encouraged that his lineup as a whole is less susceptible to left-handed pitching now that Mark Teixeira has returned from his calf injury.

"I think Tex makes a big difference in that," Girardi said. "Ichiro [Suzuki] had a great month against lefties in September. Swish [Nick Swisher] is starting to hit lefties again, and Alex [Rodriguez] has hit them all year for the most part; Jeet [Derek Jeter] hits them. So I think we're a different lineup."

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