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The dirty 30: Yanks survive first stretch

<p>Most teams that win 21 of their first 30 games have everything and everyone running smoothly. Perhaps this edition of the Yankees is a rare exception.</p>

Most teams that win 21 of their first 30 games have everything and everyone running smoothly. Perhaps this edition of the Yankees is a rare exception.


The Yankees won nine of 10 series entering last night’s late game in Detroit, a feat achieved by the championship teams in 1928 and 1939. Those teams were three games better at this point, but those loaded lineups didn’t deal with some of the problems this Yankees team faces after the first stretch of the season.


“We just have to continue to build on some of the things we’re doing well,” Alex Rodriguez said. “I think though we’ve played well, there’s a lot of room for improvement. We need to continue to take series.”


Injuries of varying degrees have tested the depth, major offseason acquisitions have not panned out and the two big bats in the heart of the lineup have yet to hit their groove. Luckily, role players such as Brett Gardner, Francisco Cervelli and Marcus Thames have all stepped in for the aching veterans.


Gardner has shown he might be an everyday player by hitting .344 (.375 off lefties) and scoring 24 runs. When Jorge Posada has gone down Cervelli has filled in nicely by hitting .400 (18 for 45). Then there’s Thames, who overcame a dreadful spring by hitting .394 (.423 off lefties) in limited action.


“They can hit you hard up and down that lineup,”?Boston manager Terry Francona said.

 
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