Yanks with shot to get to .500 at All-Star break

So the Yankees will have a chance to get their record back to .500 before the All-Star break after all. A gripping, 7-6, 11-inning victory Saturday over the Indians brought the Yankees’ mark to 43-44, and they will have their best starter, Masahiro Tanaka, on the mound Sunday, the last game before the annual vacation.

The Yankees certainly did not take an easy route to Saturday’s victory. They gave up two leads, left 10 runners on base and had only two hits in 12 at-bats (.167) with runners in scoring position. Starter CC Sabathia had his fourth consecutive ineffective outing and two-thirds of No Runs DMC were pretty shaky before Aroldis Chapman, pitching into a third inning for the first time in his major league career, cleaned up matters in the ninth, 10th and 11th.

I thought it was interesting that Chapman, whose fastball did not reach triple digits until the 11th, told WFAN’s Suzyn Waldman that he actually was reserving his strength when he realized manager Joe Girardi needed additional length from him. Starting pitchers years ago who were expected to finish what they began held that attitude for decades.

Although their offense with runners in scoring position was weak, the Yanks did score six of their runs after two were out, including the game winner in the 11th. Brian McCann followed a two-out single by Carlos Beltran with a double to right field that scored pinch runner Ronald Torreyes from first base.

It marked the continuation of a strong trip for McCann, who in the seven games he has started behind the plate on the trek has hit .379 with two doubles, two home runs and four RBI in 29 at-bats. Fifteen games ago, McCann’s batting average was a feeble .207. Since then, he is batting .373 with 10 runs, three doubles, six homers and 11 RBI to boost his season average to .248. He had his second straight three-hit game Saturday.

Didi Gregorius had only one hit, but it was a big one, a two-run home run (No. 11) with two out in the third that gave the Yankees a 3-1 lead. Unfortunately, Sabathia gave up three runs on four straight hits in the bottom of the inning. The Indians pushed their lead to 5-3 in the fifth on a two-out, RBI single by Jose Ramirez.

The Yankees put Sabathia back in position for a winning decision with a two-out rally in the sixth against Danny Salazar climaxed by a bases-clearing triple by Brett Gardner off reliever Dan Otero that made the score 6-5 Yankees.

Another two-out hit by Ramirez, off Dellin Betances in the seventh, tied the score. Gregorius saved Betances from letting in another run with a diving stop of a hard grounder by Jose Uribe and just as impressive a flip to second baseman Starlin Castro for the final out of the inning.

That run left Sabathia with a no-decision, but he did not deserve a victory. The lefthander gave up five earned runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings and over his past four starts is 0-2 with an 8.22 ERA in 23 innings in which he has allowed 30 hits. Once among the American League leaders with a 2.20 ERA four starts ago, CC has watched his ERA bloat to 3.77.

Andrew Miller ran into jams in the eighth and ninth when he put the leadoff hitter on base both innings. Abraham Almonte opened the eight with a double but got no farther than second base. In the ninth, Miller gave up a hit and a walk but caught a break when Francisco Lindor ran into third baseman Chase Headley and was called out. Miller got a big strikeout of Ramirez looking before he was replaced by Chapman, who ended the threat with a strikeout of Uribe.

Chapman also put the leadoff hitter on base in the 11th when he walked Jason Kipnis, but one out later he picked off Kipnis, who was caught stealing at second base on a strong throw from Austin Romine, who entered the game as a pinch runner for pinch hitter Alex Rodriguez in the sixth and played first base the rest of the game. Chapman finished off a very satisfying victory by striking out Mike Napoli.

For Green, different opponent, different result

Chad Green made an important discovery Friday night that the Cleveland Indians are not the San Diego Padres. It did not take long, either. The first two Tribe batters, designated hitter Carlos Santana and second baseman Jason Kipnis, took Green deep, and the righthander only got in deeper after that.

Two more home runs were on the way. Before the first inning was over, Lonnie Chisenhall had added a two-run bomb to right that made the score 4-0, and it was all downhill for the Yanks from that point on as they fell, 10-2.

Just last Sunday, Green had impressed the Yankees with six forceful innings (three hits, one run, no walks, eight strikeouts) to the degree that they added him to the rotation and sent Nathan Eovaldi to the bullpen. Green’s first major-league victory came against the Padres, who reside in the basement of the National League West. Friday night, Green was up against the Indians, who reside in the penthouse of the American League Central.

Green settled down somewhat in the second inning in retiring the side in order with two strikeouts. But he could not keep the ball in the yard in the third and yielded his fourth homer of the game, a two-run shot to left-center by Mike Napoli that dug the Yankees into a 6-0 ditch.

That is not the score you want to try to erase against the likes of a Corey Kluber, the 2014 AL Cy Young Award winner who Iooked very much like the pitcher he was that season. The righthander pitched eight innings and other than a solo home run to Brian McCann allowed four other hits and no walks with eight strikeouts.

Two of those hits off Kluber were a double and a single by red-hot Didi Gregorius, who lifted his season batting average to .300. The Yankees got their second run in the ninth off Joseph Colon in his big-league debut on doubles by Carlos Beltran and McCann. The Indians made it a five-homer night when Kipnis connected again, off Anthony Swarzak in the seventh, for his second home run of the game and third of the series.

The euphoria that ran through the clubhouse after Thursday night’s victory dissipated with another distressing loss that kept the Yankees’ record below .500 (42-44), which means they will not finish above par before the All-Star break.

Gregorius sparks Yankees’ comeback victory

The Yankees showed signs of life Thursday night in a 5-4 victory over the Indians in the first game of a four-game series leading into the All-Star break. It represented a change on the trip in that the Yanks lost the series openers in both San Diego and Chicago to clubs inferior to Cleveland, which has a comfortable lead in the American League Central.

The Yankees went on to lose each series to the Padres and White Sox and would like nothing better than to reverse that against the Tribe and their formidable rotation. Former AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, who was named as a replacement pitcher on the AL All-Star squad, was to start Friday night against Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre call-up Chad Green, who pitched so well last Sunday in a 6-3 victory at San Diego that he replaced Nathan Eovaldi in the Yankees’ rotation.

The Yankees overcame a 2-0 deficit by striking in the middle innings with two runs in the fifth and three in the sixth against Trevor Bauer (7-3). Ivan Nova, who improved to 6-5, gave up solo home runs to Jason Kipnis and rookie Tyler Naquin in the third.

Didi Gregorius, who has been the Yankees’ most consistent hitter the past two months, began the comeback in the fifth with his 10th home run. Chase Headley and Rob Refsnyder followed with singles, and a two-out knock by Brett Gardner tied the score.

The same group chased Bauer in the sixth. One-out singles by Starlin Castro, Gregorius and Headley put the Yankees in front. A sacrifice fly by Rob Refsnyder and a two-out single by Jacoby Ellsbury increased the Yanks’ lead to 5-2.

The Indians were not finished at that point, however. It took the No Rums DMC unit of the bullpen to calm matter after the Tribe’s Carlos Santana and Kipnis laced doubles off Nova, who let in the second run of the inning with a wild pitch.

Dellin Betances finished that inning with two groundouts and withstood a two-out single and stolen base by Naquin in the seventh before Andrew Miller supplied a 1-2-3 eighth and Aroldis Chapman collected his 17th save by helping himself with a stretch at first base to take a throw from Castro for the final out. Indians manager Terry Francona challenged the umpire’s call, but it was upheld after a video review.

The Yankees are doing quite well in that element of the game. They successfully overturned both of their manager’s challenges Thursday night and have overturned two calls in three of their past six games, going 2-for-3 Wednesday at Chicago and 2-for-2 last Saturday at San Diego. Before to this stretch, the Yankees had lobbied twice in the same game on only one occasion since the review system was implemented for the 2014 season and were 1-for-2 April 14, 2014 at Toronto. The Yanks had not won two challenges in a game until this stretch.

Since June 28, the Yankees have overturned eight of their past nine replay challenges and 13-of-20 (65.0%) this season (three stands, four confirmed). From 2014-15, the Yankees had a major-league best 77.6% success rate on replay challenges (58 challenges, 45 overturned), leading the majors in success rate in both seasons.

With his 10th homer, Gregorius established a career high. His previous best was nine last year in 155 games, 70 more than the Yanks have played in ’16. Gregorius has homered in four of his past eight games. He has multiple hits in five of 10 games since June 27 and is hitting .381 with nine runs, three doubles, four homers, seven RBI and two stolen bases in 42 at-bats. Since June 14, Gregorius has produced a slash line of .369/.384/.655 with 18 runs, four doubles, one triple, six home runs, 18 RBI and three steals in 21 games and 84 at-bats to raise his season average 30 points to .296, its highest level since April 12 when he was hitting .333.

Gregorius is the fourth Yankees shortstop to hit at least 10HR before the All-Star break (since 1933, when the All-Star Game was first played). The others were Derek Jeter, who did it six times (1998-99, 2002, ‘04-05, ‘09), Roy Smalley (1983) and Frankie Crosetti (1936).

Gregorius is also one of five major-league shortstops hitting .290 or better with 10 home runs. The other four were all picked for the All-Star Game: the Indians’ Francisco Lindor, the Twins’ Eduardo Nunez, the Dodgers’ Corey Seager and the Giants’ Aledmys Diaz.

Beltran, Betances, Miller tabbed as All-Stars

It was a nice surprise to see as many as three players from the Yankees chosen for the American League All-Star squad. Considering their less than stellar record (41-42 after Tuesday night’s 9-0 drubbing of the White Sox), the Yankees were not expected to have many representatives for the All-Star Game July 12 at Petco Park in San Diego.

I figured all along that Andrew Miller would be on the AL pitching staff. He has had a phenomenal year and deserves a spot on his first All-Star squad. AL manager Ned Yost of the Royals used one of his selections to take Dellin Betances as well. It marks the third straight year Betances has made the All-Star team.

Yankees fans might wonder why Aroldis Chapman was not taken along with his No Runs DMC partners, but sitting out a one-month suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic abuse policy hurt his chances. There was some speculation last month that CC Sabathia might make the staff, but his past three starts (0-2, 8.31 ERA) took him out of contention.

The other Yankees All-Star was also very deserving. Carlos Beltran has been the Yanks’ most productive offensive player. His problem was that he finished 10th among outfielders in the All-Star fan voting. What made the difference for Beltran was that he did very well on the players’ ballot. Essentially, his peers got Beltran on the team for the ninth time in his career and the first time in three years. Beltran is handcuffed somewhat by a nagging hamstring, so it remains to be seen whether he will make the trip to San Diego. He was thrown out at the plate trying to score in the first inning Tuesday night but rebounded the next inning with a two-out, RBI single, his second hit of the game.

Beltran got his third hit of the game in the fourth, a leadoff double. His 3-for-5 game raised Beltran’s season average to .302, which leads the club along with his 19 home runs and 54 RBI.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters Tuesday that he hoped Didi Gregorius would have received support, but he was not in the top five of vote getters at shortstop. The Yankees had only one position player finish in the top five. Brian McCann was fourth among catchers.

The Red Sox topped the selections with four starters — designated hitter David Ortiz, shortstop Xander Bogaerts and outfielders Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. Yost’s Royals have two starters in catcher Salvador Perez, the leading vote getter overall, and first baseman Eric Hosmer. The other starters are the Astros’ Jose Altuve at second base, the Orioles’ Manny Machado at third and the Angels’ Mike Trout in the outfield.

The Yankees looked like a whole team of All-Stars Tuesday night with a season-high 20 hits, including nine for extra bases, behind Masahiro Tanaka, who shut out the White Sox on six hits and one walk with six strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings to improve his record to 6-2 with a 3.12 ERA.

Brett Gardner led the way with four hits, including one of the Yankees’ seven doubles. Beltran and Chase Headley, who homered, had three hits apiece. Austin Romine also homered and had two hits, along with Mark Teixeira, Starlin Castro and Rob Refsnyder. Castro, who had four hits Monday in his return visit to Chicago where he played for the Cubs, is a career .397 hitter in 68 at-bats at U.S. Cellular Field.

The Yankees got six of their runs (five earned) and 12 of their hits in five innings off Chicago starter Carlos Rondon, whose career mark against them is 1-2 with a 9.64 ERA.

Tex’s 2 HRs protects Green’s 1st big-league win

The Yankees escaped disaster over the weekend at San Diego, thanks to a spot starter and an on-the-spot finisher Sunday. A 6-3 victory over the Padres Sunday was achieved primarily due to the effective pitching of rookie Chad Green and two crucial home runs by Mark Teixeira, who avoided wearing the golden sombrero and in the process cleared the 400-home run plateau.

The Yankees remain the team with the best record in inter-league play since the format began in 1997 (although the Red Sox are right on their heels) but have struggled against National League competition this year. Sunday’s victory improved their mark in inter-league play this year to 3-7. What has hurt the Yankees this season especially in NL parks is a sparse bench. With a 12-man pitching staff and with aging veterans Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran hampered by leg issues, Yankees manager Joe Girardi has been limited in options.

Despite the final score, Sunday’s game was a nail biter until the ninth. Green held the Padres to one run and three hits with no walks and eight strikeouts in six innings but departed the game with merely a one-run lead. Normally, that has been gold with Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman in play, but the No Runs DMC combination had its perceived invincibility shaken Saturday night. Betances allowed an inherited runner to score on a double by Matt Kemp in the sixth inning that tied the score. San Diego almost took the lead that inning as well on a single by Melvin Upton, but left fielder Brett Gardner threw Kemp out at the pomerhlate.

Upton did more damage three innings later when he led off the ninth by driving the first pitch from Miller a long way into the left field stands for a walk-off home run. It marked the first loss in six decisions for Miller this season.

Although Betances allowed two hits in the seventh inning Sunday, he protected the one-run advantage with key strikeouts of Derek Norris and Ryan Schrimpf. Miller also put two runners on in the eighth with a single and a walk but retired the dangerous Kemp on a ground ball to work out of it.

Teixeira had given Miller an extra run to work with when he led off the top of that inning with his 400th career home run. Tex, who had struck out in his previous three at-bats, became the fifth switch-hitter to reach the milestone. The others are Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murray, future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones and his teammate, Beltran. Texeira connected again in the ninth following an RBI single by Gardner as the Yankees pulled away at 6-1.

That took Chapman out of the equation but only momentarily. Anthony Swarzak could not close it out as Yangervis Solarte singled for his fourth hit of the game and scored on a home run by Alex Dickerson. Chapman then was summoned to notch his 16th save, which he did by retiring the three batters he faced.

Green had been called up from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to start in place of CC Sabathia because the Yankees did not want the lefthander to have to bat or run the bases at Petco Park. It could not have worked out better for the Yankees, who now must decide whether to fit Green, a righthander, into the rotation somehow. Green was named to the International League All-Star squad on the strength of his league-leading 1.54 ERA.

The victory was a face saver for the Yankees, who were defeated the previous two nights by the NL West cellar dwellers. They will return to American League play Monday afternoon at Chicago with a July 4th date against the White Sox on the birthday of the late Yankees owner George M. Steinbrenner and radio voice John Sterling.

A-Rod back at 3B? It almost happened

The Yankees nearly pulled off a third consecutive ninth-inning victory Friday night at San Diego to begin the 10-game, three-city trip that takes them to the All-Star break. They made a lot of noise but ended up one run short.

Had they been able to tie the score, it would have been interesting to see how the Yankees would navigated their way in the field in subsequent innings. Alex Rodriguez, for example, would have played third base for the first time since 2013. He was excited about the prospect and was wearing his glove as he stood on the dugout steps when Brett Gardner made the final out of the 7-6 loss.

Stranded at third base was Carlos Beltran, who was not supposed to play against the Padres because of a sore right hamstring. He was not needed to play in the outfield, but A-Rod was needed at third base because manager Joe Girardi had already used Chase Headley, Ronald Torreyes and Rob Refsnyder.

Rodriguez and Beltran had big pinch hits in the four-run ninth. Rodriguez singled home a run and eventually came around to score on an infield out by Aaron Hicks. After Didi Gregorius scored on a wild pitch by Brandon Maurer to make it a one-run game, Beltran doubled to left-center. Girardi considered using pitcher Masahiro Tanaka as a pinch runner but kept Beltran in the game. He hobbled to third base on a grounder to the right side by Jacoby Ellsbury before Gardner ended the rally.

The Yankees caught a break that inning because the day before the Padres traded closer Fernando Rodney, who was having a great season, to the Marlins. Matt Thornton, who pitched for the Yankees a couple of years ago, opened the gates by walking Brian McCann on four pitches and hitting Starlin Castro with a 2-2 pitch before yielding the single against the shift to Rodriguez. That was career hit No. 3,110 for A-Rod, who tied Hall of Famer Dave Winfield for 19th place on the all-time list. Winfield happened to be at Petco Park to witness the hit.

Prior to the ninth, the Yankees experienced a stretch of 18 batters in which only one reached base — McCann with a solo home run (No. 13) in the sixth. Their late rally was an attempt to atone for letting the game get out of hand early, which was due largely to another ineffective outing by Nathan Eovaldi.

The Yankees loaded the bases against Padres starter Colin Rea in the first inning but failed to score. San Diego responded in the bottom half with three runs. The key blow was a two-out, two-run double by Derek Norris. Eovaldi was hurt by the long ball once again as he gave up rookie second baseman Ryan Schimpf’s first career home run in the second and a two-run shot to Wil Myers in the fifth.

Eovaldi was strung for six earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. He is winless in six starts since May 29, a stretch in which he is 0-4 with a 9.20 ERA. The righthander has allowed 31 earned runs and 45 hits, including 12 home runs, in 30 1/3 innings in those starts, this from a pitcher who 10 starts into the season was 6-2 with a 3.71 ERA. That ERA has since climbed to 5.54.

In other developments, Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes‐Barre outfielder Aaron Judge was named the International League Player of the Month for June. Judge batted .343 in 102 at-bats and led the IL with nine home runs, 30 runs and a .477 on-base percentage. He also finished among the top three with 25 RBI, 16 extra‐base hits, 70 total bases, 21 walks and a .686 slugging percentage.

Conversely, Nick Swisher has decided to leave the Triple A club. Swish, who played for the Yankees from 2009-12, was hoping to make a comeback after being released by the Braves in spring training. The Yankees have had openings at first base because of injuries, but Swisher never got the call.

The switch hitter batted .255 with seven homers and 25 RBI in 55 games for SWB. After watching Rob Refsnyder, Chris Parmelee and Ike Davis take turns at first base, Swish decided to go home and spend time with his infant daughter.

“I don’t think we would have signed him if we didn’t want to take a look at him,” Girardi told reporters. “We just felt some guys were ahead of him at the time, so he never was called. I respect what he did. He had another baby, so go and enjoy that.”

Two walk-off wins end Yanks’ first half at home

In a game in which there were 25 strikeouts, it was probably not surprising that the winning rally Thursday did not contain a hit. It was that kind of no-contact game. The Yankees used a couple of walks between a sacrifice bunt, a ground ball to the right side that advanced the runners and a passed ball to beat the team with the best record in the American League.

The Yankees’ 2-1 victory over the AL West-leading Rangers put a nice finish on a 5-4 homestand that could have been a disaster if not for three “walk-off” victories, including each of the final two games.

At the center of the two last-inning victories over Texas was Didi Gregorius in different roles. Wednesday night, he unlocked a 7-7 score with a game-winning, two-run home run. Thursday, he followed a leadoff walk by righthander Tony Barnette (5-3) in the ninth to Chase Headley with a well-placed bunt to sacrifice him to second base. After a walk to Aaron Hicks, Starlin Castro made the second out on a squib to first base.

Now at third base, Headley alertly sped for the plate when a pitch from Barnette to Jacoby Ellsbury was not handled by catcher Robinson Chririnos, a passed ball that got the Yankees back to .500 at 39-39.

If not for the weird occurrence of Monday night when Texas won after a lengthy rain delay, the Yankees might have won the series. Still, a split with the league’s winningest team is nothing to be ashamed of.

Michael Pineda got off to a rough start. He gave up a leadoff home run to Shin-Soo Choo, retired Ian Desmond on a hard liner to right field and yielded a single to Nomar Mazara. Three batters into the game, and Pineda looked as if this could be a long afternoon. Turned out it was, except it was for Rangers’ hitters. They struck out 12 times against Pineda, who was lifted after the sixth with a 92-pitch count, and did not get another hit until Mitch Moreland’s two-out single in the seventh off Dellin Betances.

Yep, Yankees manager Joe Girardi went to the late-inning No Runs DMC formula in a tie game. Who tied it? Who else? Gregorius smoked a 3-2 pitch from A.J. Griffin to right in the fifth for his eighth home run. Griffin, who has never lost to the Yankees, was strong again with eight strikeouts but was limited to five innings also because of a relatively high pitch count (88).

The Yankees posed threats in the sixth and seventh against the Rangers’ weary bullpen but could not push across a run. Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman (2-0) pitched a shutout inning apiece, but it took help from a pitcher who could not throw strikes and a catcher who could not glove one to lift the Yankees into the air before their charter plane did.

The Yanks are off to San Diego for an inter-league series against the Padres, then head to Chicago for a three-game set against the White Sox and to Cleveland for four games against the red-hot Indians. The Yankees do not return to Yankee Stadium until after the All-Star break when the schedule gets even dicier.

Mac, Didi pay back Rangers in 6-run ninth inning

Just before the Yankees came to bat in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday night, Rangers public relations director John Blake, one of the best in the business, passed in front of me in the press box to tell the Texas beat writers that “21 victories would be a club record for one month.”

At the time, it seemed the Rangers were a cinch for that record. Texas had a 7-3 lead and appeared on the verge to run its June mark to 21-6. Not so fast, cowpokes. As it turned out, the Yanks still had plenty left in their holsters.

Did they ever.

Two nights after the most grueling defeat of the season when the Rangers followed a 3 1/2-hour rain delay to score four runs in the ninth and overcome a one-run deficit, the Yankees exploded for six runs to pay Texas back with a 9-7 victory.

Brian McCann, who had homered with the bases empty in the eighth, came up again with two on in the ninth and tied the score with a three-run homer. Yankees fans had barely stopped cheering when Didi Gregorius followed a walk to Starlin Castro with a first-pitch drive to right field for the game-winning blow. His seventh home run of the season was the first walk-off hit of his career.

Both homers came off Rangers closer Sam Dyson, who was summoned after Matt Bush gave up a leadoff single to Rob Refsnyder and walked Jacoby Ellsbury.

Brett Gardner singled to left-center off Dyson, and when center fielder Ian Desmond bobbled the ball Refsnyder came home. Alex Rodriguez hit the ball hard as well, but his liner was gloved by second baseman Rougned Odor. That would be the only out recorded by Dyson, who got the save Monday night but this time suffered his first blown save of the season in 17 tries.

It was pretty dull going for the Yankees until the ninth. Masahiro Tanaka was roughed up for six earned run and eight hits in six innings and left with the score 6-1 Texas. In what at the time was essentially a mop-up role, Luis Cessa allowed only a solo homer to Adrian Beltre in three innings as the Yanks tried to stay close on a sacrifice fly by Chase Headley in the sixth and Mac’s first homer in the eighth.

Nevertheless, the Yankees were hitless in six at-bats with runners in scoring position before the ninth. They went 2-for-3 in those situations in the final frame to produce one of the most exhilarating victories of the season merely two nights after the most debilitating loss.

Yankees in ticket partnership with StubHub

Earlier this week, the Yankees announced a landmark, multi-year sponsorship agreement with StubHub that designated it as the team’s official fan-to-fan ticket resale marketplace.

The new product will allow StubHub to be completely integrated into the Yankees’ ticket system, replacing the Yankees Ticket Exchange. The new system will be fully integrated and operational by Thursday, July 7. The first ticket availability will be for the Friday, July 15, game and extend through the remainder of the 2016 schedule.

“We are committed to providing our fans with a first-class ticket experience, and offering the safest, most secure and efficient platform for our fans to sell and purchase tickets,” team president Randy Levine said. “This new product was the result of many productive discussions with StubHub, which will allow them to fully integrate into our ticket system. We are confident this collaboration will best protect our fans in the resale ticket marketplace.”

Said StubHub president Scott Cutler, “The New York Yankees are one of the preeminent brands in professional sports, and we are thrilled to join with them to create a best-in-class fan experience. StubHub’s goal is to ensure that fans have access to games that they love to attend, and I’d like to thank both the Yankees and MLB Advanced Media for their willingness to come to the table and reach a positive solution for all parties.”

The custom sponsorship deal will provide new features and functionality that will greatly enhance the consumer experience, which will lead to increased user efficiency and fan safety and protection. These added features will prevent speculative selling, adhere to the Yankees’ advertising resale price policy, generate verified bar/QR codes, and provide fully integrated mobile capacity, for the safest and most secure way to transmit tickets.

The Yankees introduced a mobile ticket system this year, and the agreement with StubHub will adhere to the existing mobile ticket policy. All tickets delivered will be mobile. Tickets will operate on both iOS and Android devices. Users can post hard stock tickets, but upon being sold all will be converted to mobile format.

To date, more than 250,000 fans have entered Yankee Stadium using mobile tickets (primary and secondary combined), and by the end of this season, the team expects to have welcomed more than 600,000 mobile ticket users. This anticipated number is expected to be the largest among all teams in baseball.

With this new, technology-led sponsorship, the Yankees will join the longstanding StubHub arrangement that is in place with MLB Advanced Media. While other secondary resale platforms will continue to remain an option for fans to buy and resell Yankees tickets, only StubHub will be fully integrated with the Yankees.

As part of the sponsorship agreement with the Yankees, StubHub will receive full marketing and sponsorship benefits, including in-stadium signage, suite access and use of official team marks.

Yanks’ minor leaguers drawing attention

There is some good news for several Yankees minor leaguers.

Four members of the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders were elected to the 29th annual Sonic Automotive Triple A All-Star Game July 13 at Charlotte, N.C. Pitcher Chad Green, catcher Gary Sanchez and outfielders Ben Gamel and Aaron Judge are the SWB All-Stars, the most of any International League team in balloting by managers, general managers, media and fans online.

Judge, who was named the IL Batter of the Week for June 20-26, leads the league in home runs with 16, including four in his past sis games. He ranks second in the IL in runs (49) and total bases (140), third in extra-base hits (31) and tied for fourth in runs batted in (46). This month, Judge has hit .337 with nine home runs and 21 RBI in 26 games. His on-base plus slugging percentage is 1.156.

Sanchez is tied with Judge for fourth in the IL in slugging with a .490 percentage and is second on the team in homers (8) and RBI (32). Green leads the league with a 1.54 ERA in 14 starts and 81 2/3 innings and has a 17-inning shutout string going. Gamel, the IL Rookie of the Year in 2015, is batting .293 with a team-leading 12 stolen bases.

Double A Trenton catcher Kyle Higashioka was chosen the Eastern League Player of the Week for June 20-26 for batting .467 with a double, four home runs, 12 RBI and a 1.333 slugging percentage in four games and 15 at-bats. The Huntington Beach, Calif., native is batting .301 with 11 doubles, six homers and 33 RBI in 38 games and 133 at-bats this season.

Sanchez and infielder Jorge Mateo were selected to play for the World Team in the 2016 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, which will be played at 7 p.m., Eastern Times, Sunday, July 10, at Petco Park in San Diego as part of the Major League All-Star Game festivities.

In 48 games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Sanchez is hitting .277 with 25 runs, 16 doubles, one triple, eight home runs and 31RBI in 195 at-bats. He has also appeared in one game with the Yanks this season and was 0-for-4.

Mateo is batting .270 with 45 runs, eight doubles, eight triples, five homers, 33 RBI and 26 stolen bases in 69 games and 281 at-bats for Class A Tampa. He leads the Florida State League in steals and is tied for the league lead in runs and triples.

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