4/24/2014 1:09 A.M. ET
After 'nightmare' 2013, Jeter feeling refreshed
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
BOSTON -- Maybe the most encouraging thing that the Yankees can say about Derek Jeter so far this season is that he has looked like himself, which is a refreshing change from the self-described "nightmare" campaign that the captain endured last year.
Jeter entered play on Wednesday batting .298 (17-for-57) with three doubles and four RBIs, and he had reached base safely in each of his first 15 games of the season. He was riding an 11-game hitting streak, which ended with an 0-for-4 collar in the Yanks' 5-1 loss to the Red Sox.
"I feel all right. I'm getting better and better," Jeter said. "This is a game that you need to play every day. It took me a while to feel good, but I'm getting there. I've still got some more progress to make."
Jeter was limited to just 17 games last season; he was in the lineup playing shortstop and batting second on Wednesday for his 16th game of the 2014 campaign.
Jeter had reached base safely in his last 21 games dating back to Sept. 2, 2013, which was tied with the Blue Jays' Jose Bautista for the longest active streak in the Majors.
"I told you, if he was healthy, I thought he'd play well," manager Joe Girardi said. "It was just a matter of how healthy he was going to be, and for the most part, he's been healthy this year. So I think it's kind of what we expected."
Gardner makes first career start in right field
BOSTON -- As Brett Gardner tells the story, it was getting into the late innings of a Grapefruit League game at a place called Chain of Lakes Park in Winter Haven, Fla., once the spring home of the Indians.
Joe Torre was still at the helm of the Yankees, and the manager pointed down the dugout bench in Gardner's direction, saying, "Hey, kid. Can you play right field?"
"And I said, 'Yes sir!' and I went out there," Gardner recalls, with a smile. "It shouldn't be too bad."
Gardner made his first Major League appearance as a right fielder on Wednesday against the Red Sox, a nod to the expansive outfield in that area and the relatively small amount of real estate to patrol in front of the Green Monster in left.
Manager Joe Girardi explained that he wanted to find a way to have Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Alfonso Soriano all in the same outfield, with Carlos Beltran serving as the designated hitter because Soriano has played a little bit of left field at Fenway.
"I don't really think it'll be too tough for [Gardner] to adjust, because he's played center and left," Girardi said. "He's used to the angle when balls are hit that way, because he has played center, too. I don't expect it to be a tough adjustment for him. It's going to be a little different, but I'm confident he'll make it fine."
Gardner said that he worked out in right field on Tuesday at Fenway, paying attention to how balls kick around in the corner near the Pesky Pole and in front of the bullpens.
"It's something I knew was a possibility," Gardner said. "I wasn't sure what they were going to do with it. I feel like I'm prepared; just get ready and when they hit it, go get it. Pretty simple."
Mired in slump, Solarte held out of starting lineup
BOSTON -- Yangervis Solarte is in his second offensive slump of the month, which prompted manager Joe Girardi to give the rookie infielder a day off on Wednesday against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Solarte is hitless in his last 14 at-bats, striking out three times in Tuesday's 9-3 victory and dropping his batting average to .303 (20-for-66). Solarte also had an 0-for-11 skid earlier in April.
"I don't sense that he's pressing or anything. I think he's happy with the at-bats," Girardi said. "Sometimes I've been telling Brian Roberts, he hasn't been too smart lately, lining out all the time.
"It happens. It's part of the game. Sometimes they even out. Sometimes they don't."
Solarte lined out in his last at-bat on Tuesday and has not taken his offensive drought into the field, turning in a pair of nice plays at third base in the Yanks' most recent victory.
Assistant general manager Billy Eppler recently said that Solarte's ability to come out of the first skid showed the organization something.
"I think we've had a good amount of games played. He's been tested in some situations," Eppler said. "He's kind of already gone through a little bit of a lull -- he's had that kind of moment where, to use an NCAA reference, your three-point shot gets lost for a second. He got it back. The tools and the ability to use those tools are there for this guy to be a Major League player."
Nova asks to get second opinion on right elbow
BOSTON -- Ivan Nova has requested that noted sports orthopedist Dr. James Andrews offer a second opinion on his partially torn right ulnar collateral ligament, the Yankees said on Wednesday.
Nova was examined on Tuesday by team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad at New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York, where an MRI arthrogram confirmed the original diagnosis of a partial tear -- an injury that often leads to Tommy John surgery.
The recovery time for Tommy John surgery would be approximately 12-18 months, knocking Nova out of action for the rest of this year as well as the beginning of next season.
Nova sustained the injury during an April 19 start against the Rays at Tropicana Field and has been replaced by left-hander Vidal Nuno in the rotation. Nova was 2-2 with an 8.27 ERA in four starts for New York this season.
• Infielder Brendan Ryan (cervical spine nerve) is continuing to work out at the Yankees' complex in Tampa, Fla. The Yankees have talked about getting Ryan 50 to 60 at-bats before activating him. Girardi estimated that Ryan has had about 20 at-bats so far, and he could be activated in a week to 10 days.
• Catcher Francisco Cervelli (right hamstring strain) is in New York and is performing some light activity, but otherwise is not close to baseball activities. Cervelli was placed on the 60-day disabled list on April 15, retroactive to April 14.
• David Ortiz's home run off Masahiro Tanaka on Tuesday traveled 482 feet, according to ESPN Stats and Info. That makes it the longest home run by a Red Sox batter in the last nine seasons.
• On this date in 2000, Jorge Posada and Bernie Williams become the first pair of teammates in Major League history to homer from both sides of the plate in the same game. The Yankees defeated the Blue Jays, 10-7, in Toronto.