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Ryan's 3 hits help him laugh off 'comical' K

CHICAGO -- Brendan Ryan had to laugh. For all of the progress he's made at the plate, and there has been enough to suggest that he may have more to offer than just a good glove, now he had to hear it from his own bench after striking out against a position player.

Ryan could appreciate the absurdity of his ninth-inning strikeout against Adam LaRoche in the Yankees' 13-6 win over the White Sox on Friday because it came as part of not only a victory, but also a three-hit performance.

Video: NYY@CWS: LaRoche retires the side in pitching debut

"It's comical. It's not fun, but you have to have fun with it," Ryan said. "He's throwing 50-mph curveballs. I'm taking four steps before I get there. I didn't know what the heck he was going to do that last pitch, and obviously I found out he could throw it right past me. Good times."

Make no mistake, the 33-year-old Ryan is on the Yankees' roster because of his slick fielding, but he is giving manager Joe Girardi reasons to consider inserting him in a platoon with Stephen Drew at second base, taking the at-bats against left-handed pitching.

"He's made a little bit of an adjustment with the hitting coaches and he's swinging the bat good," Girardi said. "He's fresh. He's happy to be playing; he went through a frustrating time getting hurt in Spring Training and then getting hurt again, so I just think he's enjoying the moments."

Ryan has contributed a few big hits of late: He stroked a go-ahead double to beat the Orioles on July 21 in New York in what he called his best game of the year thus far, and is enjoying a modest three-game hitting streak that included two doubles in the same inning on Tuesday at Texas -- the only Major Leaguer to accomplish that this year.

Video: BAL@NYY: Ryan smokes RBI double down third-base line

"Joe's trying to put us in situations where we can have success, and I'm getting matched up against lefties and putting together good game plans," Ryan said. "I'm just trying to stay disciplined within that plan that given day. After that, you just go play baseball and try not to pop the ball up."

Worth noting

Brian McCann did not start for the second consecutive game on Saturday, but Girardi said that it was not related to an injury issue. McCann is expected to catch on Sunday when the Yankees face right-hander Jeff Samardzija.

• Right-hander Nick Rumbelow was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Saturday. Right-hander Nick Goody was optioned to Triple-A. Girardi said that Goody probably would not have been available to pitch again until Tuesday.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.
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