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Girardi showing faith in Francisco

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NEW YORK -- Manager Joe Girardi has stuck with Ben Francisco in his lineup against left-handed pitching, hoping that he will be able to turn around a slow start to his season.

"Francisco is a guy that we expect is going to do more damage," Girardi said. "He's hit some balls hard, and hopefully that gets him going."

Girardi batted Francisco second on Thursday against Blue Jays left-hander Mark Buehrle, and Francisco legged out a seventh-inning bunt single in four at-bats.

Francisco, who was picked up this spring after requesting his release from the Indians, is batting just .103 with the Yanks.

Girardi admits that his lineup has been short-handed and lefty-heavy without Kevin Youkilis available due to a sore back -- to say nothing of the absences of Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter.

"I think part of it is [that] Youk has been out some of those [games]," Girardi said. "We have a lot of left-handed hitters in our lineup. Our right-handers haven't hit [lefties] as well as I believe they're going to hit [them]. It's just a combination of a few things."

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.

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