MOOSIC, Pa. -- An early day game following a night game proved to be no challenge for Curtis Granderson in his fourth rehab game with the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. He inched closer to returning to New York, recording three hits and playing all nine innings.
"The big thing today was facing left-handed pitching," Granderson said. "I haven't had much in terms of that up to this point. To get some good left-handed pitching from both the starter and closer is big."
Granderson batted second, played right field, and faced off against Gwinnett's lefty starter Daniel Rodriguez. He smacked a hard single to right field in his first at-bat, and later came around to score.
"He did a mixture of things," Granderson said of Rodriguez. "He threw the off-speed pitches, but also challenged me with the fastball. I was able to get a couple of hits off of him, but he kept his team in the ballgame."
Granderson was able to send a ball from Rodriguez the opposite way in the fifth for another single. He hit a hard liner down the first-base line in the seventh, but Ernesto Mejia was able to corral it. He concluded his day at the plate with a sinking single to left in the ninth.
For the first time in his rehab assignment, Granderson saw a number of pitches on the inner-half of the plate. He was not concerned about his right forearm, and saw the pitches as an opportunity to ease back into working against inside pitching.
"It was good to get some inside to make sure you're not trying to get out of the way," Granderson said. "There was no recall of the injury. There's going to be pitches inside, I'm going to get hit again, but you got to stay in. You're going to have them here and there."
Sunday marked the first time Granderson was playing a true day game since his injury, and his first nine-inning game following a night contest.
"Night followed by a day, plus playing all nine on defense, were things I had to get through. I hadn't done it yet. I'm glad I was able to get through and feel good. The results were positive and now I'm ready to go again tomorrow night."
Granderson's approach and the results at the plate indicate he is nearly ready to return to the Yankees. His defense has almost caught up, as well, leaving him with not much else to do before his return to the Bronx.
"I've had some throws from both left and right, I've had good at-bats," said Granderson. "I think that's about it. There are some things in the game you get that you can't mirror, but we're checking a lot of things off which is a good thing."
Andrew Kappes is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less