DETROIT -- On Sunday, a day after the Yankees' struggles with men in scoring position factored significantly into a 4-3 loss to the Tigers, hitting coach Kevin Long spoke about the recent troubles and how he hopes the team can break out of them.
"It's not fun -- it's not enjoyable," Long said candidly. "But what more can we do? We've talked about it, exhausted the process. We want these guys to be relaxed and calm."
The Yankees were 1-for-12 with men in scoring position on Saturday night during a game from which Long and manager Joe Girardi were ejected in the seventh inning after arguing balls and strikes with home-plate umpire Bob Davidson.
Sluggers Curtis Granderson (10-for-44 this year) and Alex Rodriguez (9-for-51) both struggled with men on base in the game, as they have much of the year.
"You've just got to trust that these guys continue to work, continue to battle," Long said. "One good at-bat could change it in a heartbeat. Obviously, sooner would be better than later."
Long, the Yankees' hitting coach since 2007, said the issues are not physical and he thinks the players have had good approaches at the plate; they drew four walks and had two batters hit by a pitch on Saturday.
"This isn't black or white," Long said. "This is about one guy getting a hit, then the next, then the next."
Their bats cold, Yanks running with aggression
DETROIT -- As the Yankees look to work out some offensive kinks, they have taken to aggressive baserunning, hoping it will provide a bit of a spark.
The team has had trouble driving in baserunners who are in scoring position, but opportunities have been abundant due to stolen bases, hit-and-run plays and taking extra bases on sacrifice flies and outfield hits.
"It's taking advantage of some situations," manager Joe Girardi said. "Obviously, there's a lot of work put in to see who you can run on. You think about going first to third here [at Comerica Park]. Midwestern grass -- love it. It's thicker, slows the ball down more, it's a bigger outfield. There's a lot of things that factor into it."
In Saturday night's 4-3 loss to the Tigers, the Yankees stole five bases against catcher Omir Santos, including a double-steal with Derek Jeter and Dewayne Wise in the ninth inning.
"We just look at situations," Girardi said. "But that's not something we wouldn't have done in the past."
Girardi said that injured reliever David Robertson -- out with a strained left oblique -- would throw a bullpen session on Sunday, instead of Saturday, and outfielder Brett Gardner (right elbow strain) could take batting practice outside as part of his rehabilitation.
Girardi said he doesn't have a minimum of games or at-bats in mind for Gardner's rehab, but the manager figured it would be at least two or three Minor League contests. Girardi said that a return against the Mets next weekend is possible, but it's more likely Gardner would rejoin the club when it heads to Atlanta on June 11.
The Yankees have the 30th pick on Monday in the first round of the First-Year Player Draft and will make three selections in the first 94 picks. Left-hander CC Sabathia is expected to be present at MLB Network's studios in Secaucus, N.J., as the team's representative for the first round.
Curtis Granderson entered Sunday having played in every inning (460) the Yankees have played this season, all in center field. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is one of four players in the Majors -- joined by Baltimore's Adam Jones, Atlanta's Dan Uggla and the Cubs' Starlin Castro -- to appear in the field for each of his team's innings this season.