The Yankees don’t care how long a win takes, as long as it ends with Mariano Rivera on the mound.

Rivera is expected to return from tightness in his left side that sidelined the closer for a week. The Bombers’ trip to Boston this weekend is the first since umpire Joe West ripped the teams’ slow pace as “pathetic and embarrassing.”

“We’re there to win games, not get finished in two and a half hours,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “So I expect our players to play hard, continue to be selective and do the things they need to do to win a game.”


One of those things includes handing off the ball to Rivera. The 40-year-old stopper was ready to return Wednesday, but the team opted to give him another day off. The decision almost backfired, as a patchwork bullpen gave up three homers and barely hung on for a win against Baltimore.

“We had to deal with it the last few days, but we did OK,” Girardi said. “But I like having [Rivera] down there.”

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