Honored to be an All-Star, Betances nets first MLB save

Honored to be an All-Star, Betances nets first MLB save

CLEVELAND -- When Dellin Betances reported to Spring Training, the Yankees had hoped that the hard-throwing right-hander would be able to put it all together, but it was a late March outing against the Blue Jays that made Joe Girardi really believe it was happening.

As Girardi recalled on Monday, a March 23 outing at George M. Steinbrenner Field made the Yanks' coaches take notice. Betances entered with the bases loaded in the seventh inning, leaving them that way by striking out Jose Bautista looking and getting Edwin Encarnacion to fly out to left field.

"He came in with the bases loaded and was dominant," Girardi said. "I thought, 'You know what, maybe it's clicking.' ... You could see that there was deception there and they didn't see the ball real well off of him."

It has been quite a rush for Betances, who locked down his first career save in the Yankees' 5-3 win over the Indians on Monday at Progressive Field. It was his first appearance since being named as one of the Yankees' three All-Stars on Sunday, joining Derek Jeter and Masahiro Tanaka.

"It's pretty cool. I was just trying to go out there and keep it the same," Betances said. "Make pitches, and thank God I was able to do that. For me, I'm just enjoying every day with the team, and just trying to go out there and do my job."

Betances owns a 1.55 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 38 appearances.

"Dellin obviously has had a big first half, he's an All-Star and he pitched great tonight," Brett Gardner said. "It's nice having him in the back end of the bullpen."

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.