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I don't want to think about how bad this team would be without Tanaka.

Still not as bad as the Red Sox. :help:

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Still not as bad as the Red Sox. :help:

Hello! It's nice to see you around here again. Please don't be a stranger. :)

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Joe Girardi says he won't shake up struggling Yankees lineup

The Yankees, who these days seem a nightly threat to waste more good pitching, were 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position in Sunday’s 2-1 loss and they’ve scored just 25 runs in their recent stretch of losing seven of 10 games.

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Joe Girardi plans to keep his patience with the current lineup despite its recent struggles.

KANSAS CITY — The Yankees didn’t hit again Monday, but it wasn’t another frustrating night at the ballpark — the finale of their series against the Royals was rained out.

While the unplanned off-day might give Joe Girardi time to consider drastic alterations to his struggling lineup, it seems unlikely much will change when the Yanks start a series in Seattle Tuesday. The manager describes himself as “patient” when it comes to lineup shakeups.

“The one thing you can’t do is, you can’t just start changing everything,” Girardi said. “You look at what guys have done in the past, you look at what guys have done this year and you try to put what you feel is the best lineup together every day. It’s been two months. We’ve struggled the last three or four weeks scoring runs. Obviously, we know we need to score more, but guys are going through a tough time and sometimes you’ve just got to ride it out.”

The Yankees, who these days seem a nightly threat to waste more good pitching, were 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position in Sunday’s 2-1 loss and they’ve scored just 25 runs in their recent stretch of losing seven of 10 games. They are 21st in the majors in runs scored (249), 18th in slugging (.382), 20th in OPS (.697) and 26th in extra-base hits (161).

With runners in scoring position, the numbers are worse. They are 26th in both OPS (.662) and slugging (.344) in such situations. The big-league average in those categories is .709 OPS and .382 slugging. “It seems like when guys are scuffling, sometimes they scuffle in bunches,” Derek Jeter said. “Right now, we’re going through tough times, and I know we’re much better than this,” Girardi added.

You’d think a club with the nickname Bronx Bombers would be more powerful, too. The Yankees are 20th in homers and are on pace to hit 132 home runs, 12 fewer than last year’s team. Girardi, known more for his catching than his hitting during his career, says he knows “what it’s like to struggle as a hitter. I know when I would watch games or broadcast games, I would say, ‘Man, that looks easy to hit’ because it’s slow and it’s on TV and it looks big. And then you get to the plate and it’s not easy. I understand it. I don’t ever want to forget how hard it is to play this game.”

And, Girardi says, he considers players reactions to potential lineup changes “because their mind is a part of this, too, not (just) the physical skills.”

Jeter is among the struggling Yankees. Since his four-hit game in Chicago last month, he’s just 8-for-46 (.174), which has knocked his average down to .254. “He’s just like everyone else — he’s going through the ups and downs,” Girardi said.

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Teixeira6-10.jpg

New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, left, makes the catch in time to force Seattle Mariners' Brad Miller (5) at first base in the fifth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 10, 2014, in Seattle.

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Ichiro6-10.jpg

New York Yankees' Ichiro Suzuki reacts to an inside pitch in the second inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Tuesday, June 10, 2014, in Seattle. Suzuki later lined out to left field in the at-bat.

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Nuno6-10.jpg

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 10: Starting pitcher Vidal Nuno of the New York Yankees pitches in the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on June 10, 2014 in Seattle, Washington.

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Ellsbury6-10.jpg

New York Yankees' Jacoby Ellsbury hits a go-ahead single that scored Yankees' Derek Jeter in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Tuesday, June 10, 2014, in Seattle.

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Teixeira6-11.jpg

New York Yankees' Mark Teixeira hits a three-run home run against the Seattle Mariners in a baseball game on Wednesday, June 11, 2014, in Seattle.

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Jeter6-11.jpg

New York Yankees' Derek Jeter, left, singles in the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Wednesday, June 11, 2014, in Seattle.

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Ichiro6-11.jpg

New York Yankees Ichiro Suzuki dives back to first base ahead of a pick-off attempt throw to Seattle Mariners first baseman Logan Morrison, right, in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 11, 2014, in Seattle.

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TanakaK6-11.jpg

Seattle Mariners' Logan Morrison, right, tosses his bat after striking out swinging as New York Yankees catcher Brian McCann, left, and home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski stand near in the fourth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 11, 2014 in Seattle.

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Tanaka6-11.jpg

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 11: Starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka #19 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning at Safeco Field on June 11, 2014 in Seattle, Washington.

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DJeter6-11.jpg

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 11: Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees singles in the seventh inning against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on June 11, 2014 in Seattle, Washington.

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David Phelps silences Athletics as Yankees roll to 7-0 win

Phelps blanked Oakland for 6.2 innings in his best start of the season, giving up two hits and three walks while striking out four.

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David Phelps blanks Oakland for 6.2 innings in his best start of the season.

OAKLAND – Very little about Friday night’s matchup appeared to be in the Yankees’ favor.

Oakland featured the highest-scoring offense and the best record in the American League, while David Phelps was riding the longest losing streak of his career and was pitching in a place where the Yankees had lost seven straight over the past two years.

It was David vs. Goliath.

David won.

Phelps silenced the Athletics’ mighty bats while the Yankees’ resurgent offense busted out for a second straight night, disappointing the rare sellout crowd as the Bombers rolled to a 7-0 win, their first at the Coliseum in more than two years.

“It’s definitely one of the best starts of my career, probably,” said Phelps, who had lost four straight starts, posting a 6.57 ERA in the process. “Come in here against a team that’s first in its division with one of the best records in baseball. My biggest thing is going out and trying to give us a chance to win every time out.

“Our offense gave me a chance to be successful out there, so I tip my cap to them because they did a great job for me, giving me a cushion early on. They made some great plays behind me on the defensive side too.”

Phelps blanked Oakland for 6.2 innings in his best start of the season, giving up two hits and three walks while striking out four.

Six different Yankees drove in runs as the offense had its most productive night in more than two weeks. After going 12 consecutive games without topping the four-run mark, the Bombers have now scored 13 in the past two games, extending their winning streak to four games.

“That's the recipe for scoring a lot of runs,” Joe Girardi said of the balanced attack. “That's what you need to do at times. Through all this, the guys have kept at it. They've had their struggles but they've kept at it. We're hitting the ball hard.”

Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter and Jacoby Ellsbury opened the game with singles against Oakland ace Sonny Gray, giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead on Ellsbury’s hit. That also extended the center fielder’s hitting streak to 17 games, the longest active streak in the majors.

Mark Teixeira added a sac fly, pushing the lead to two runs. The Yankees went back to work in the second, tacking on a third run on Gardner’s second hit of the night, a single that scored Brian Roberts to make it 3-0.

"We have very good hitters one through nine, and it's fun when guys are swinging the bats well, putting good at-bats together,” Ellsbury said. “I think that was the key tonight, just getting some big hits with runners in scoring position."

Oakland went down in order in each of the first three innings as Phelps retired 10 straight batters to start the game. John Jaso drew a one-out walk in the fourth to give the Athletics their first baserunner, but Phelps sat down both Josh Donaldson and Brandon Moss, leaving Oakland without a hit through four frames.

Gray settled in after his shaky start, retiring 11 straight Yankees between the third and sixth before Ichiro Suzuki beat out an infield hit to snap the pitcher’s streak.

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Derek Jeter is congratulated by Brian McCann after he scores on a sacrifice fly by Mark Teixeira in the first inning.

Phelps issued a one-out walk to Jed Lowrie in the fifth, then Derek Norris broke up the no-hitter with a soft liner over Kelly Johnson’s head at third base, giving the Athletics a chance to get back into the game.

But Phelps got Andy Parrino to fly out to center then retired Kyle Blanks on a grounder to strand the two runners and keep the shutout alive.

“My biggest goals today were first-pitch strikes and leadoff outs,” Phelps said. “That negates big innings by just doing those things. You see what Chase (Whitley) did yesterday. He threw 24 of 29 first-pitch strikes, and it’s amazing. It’s what we strive to do. It’s always something I need to be trying to do.”

A double play helped Phelps erase a leadoff walk in the sixth, but after getting the first two outs in the seventh, Lowrie launched a double on the righthander’s 102nd pitch of the game, ending his night.

Dellin Betances extinguished any thought of an Oakland rally, retiring Norris to end the seventh. The Yankees broke the game open with four runs in the eighth, getting three straight RBI hits from the bottom three hitters in the lineup to ice the game.

“Phelpsie was great; that's as good as I’ve seen him pitch,” Teixeira said. “Moving the ball in and out of the zone, keeping them off-balance when he needed to. That was a team effort offensively, we played good defense; that’s just a good team win.”

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