Drew finds power stroke with pair of homers
NEW YORK -- For weeks, Stephen Drew and Yankees manager Joe Girardi have confidently reiterated that it's only a matter of time until the struggling second baseman gets his swing back. They've said that eventually Drew will have an offensive breakthrough, and perhaps find comfort in what has been a trying season to this point.
On Friday, in the Yankees' 8-7 win over the Angels, Drew continued to turn things around, as he blasted homers over the right-field fence in the second and sixth innings. The performance came on the heels of his game-tying RBI double in the ninth inning of Tuesday's win in Seattle.
Drew's first long ball put the Yankees up, 2-0, and brought home Garrett Jones. The second gave the Yankees a 7-1 lead and handed Drew his third multi-home run game of his career -- a feat he hasn't accomplished since a 2013 game in Baltimore.
"All my preparation and the work I put in off the scenes I think is paying off," Drew said. "The little adjustments here and there -- and hopefully that keeps going for me."
Heading into Friday's series opener with the Angels, Drew was batting a Major League-low .165 with five home runs and 16 RBIs. On May 30 against the A's, Girardi kept Drew out of the starting lineup, and he went 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter.
The next day, Drew did not play at all. He ended the Yankees' seven-game West Coast road trip with the A's and Mariners 3-for-20.
"I've said he's hit some balls hard, and he hasn't really had a lot of luck," Girardi said. "I think he's just more relaxed and he worked really hard in Oakland. Really, just minor adjustments, but it's paying off."
Starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, who got the win Friday night, said he certainly always appreciates a boost from his offense, but that he was particularly pleased to see Drew serve as the catalyst in the second inning on a two-strike count with two outs.
"Getting run support all the time is comforting, but especially from him just because he has been struggling. He's been working through it and being positive throughout the whole process. It's encouraging to see him work through it."
Drew now has seven homers on the season, and is hitting .173 after his 2-for-4 showing.
But Alex Rodriguez thinks there is more to come.
"For me, the story is Stephen Drew, and Mark Teixeira with a big home run," Rodriguez said. "Stephen's going to be big for us coming down the stretch. The hit he got against [Mariners closer] Fernando Rodney was a big hit for us, to help win that middle game in Seattle. He followed that up today with two big ones."