6/8/2014 2:10 P.M. ET
Yanks' offense looking to kick in on road trip
By Jackson Alexander / MLB.com
KANSAS CITY -- It's been a tough few weeks for the Yankees' offense, but it could not be solely blamed for an 8-4 loss to the Royals on Saturday night.
Most of the onus fell on the starting pitching, as the Yanks tallied four runs for the second straight game.
Four runs is nothing spectacular, but it's an improvement given New York's struggles at the plate. Entering Sunday's action, the Yankees had not scored more than four runs since May 28.
"We scored four runs, consistently, that's better than what we've been doing in a sense, so I just think it's going to turn around," manager Joe Girardi said.
A big plus was Carlos Beltran's RBI double that sparked a three-run sixth on Saturday. It was Beltran's first hit since coming off the disabled list on Thursday.
Girardi hopes his team can work out the kinks during this 10-game road trip.
"You'd love to have consistency from your offense, but you know that you're going to go through some ups and downs just like you do with pitching, but obviously the more consistent you are, the better chance you have of winning every day," Girardi said.
Kelley progressing toward return to bullpen
KANSAS CITY -- A valuable piece of the Yankees' bullpen could be returning soon.
Shawn Kelley is slated to make a second rehab start after the reliever appeared in a game for Double-A Trenton on Saturday.
Yankees manager Girardi said the destination has not been picked, but that Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre was the likely spot.
On Saturday, Kelley (3.52 ERA in 15 1/3 innings) logged two-thirds of an inning, walking one batter and striking out two in his first rehab stint since being placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 13.
"One outing to me is not a lot when you've been out a month, so we just felt for him that it'd be better to make sure he bounces back," Girardi said.
Girardi said the 20-pitch limit Kelley operated under on Saturday would likely remain on Monday.
Cervelli working to get back in rehab games
KANSAS CITY -- Francisco Cervelli took his first steps toward returning from the disabled list by recently beginning a rehab assignment.
Cervelli played on Thursday and Friday for Class A Advanced Tampa, finishing 0-for-6 at the plate with a walk. He started one game at catcher and one as the designated hitter. Cervelli was placed on the 60-day DL on April 15 with a hamstring injury.
"We still have to build him up a little more, but I don't think he's like a mile away," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Brian McCann's backup John Ryan Murphy has played well in limited playing time, opening up the question of whether Girardi would keep three catchers on the active roster when Cervelli returns.
Girardi said he was not sure.
"A lot of it depends on where we're at when he's eligible to come off and where we feel he's at," Girardi said.
Jackson Alexander is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.