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Brian Cashman — Last-place New York Yankees to remain patient despite ’15 games I’d like to forget’

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NEW YORK — Amid the New York Yankees‘ worst two-week stretch to begin a season in more than two decades, general manager Brian Cashman admitted the team is off to a “really disappointing” start but would exude patience with both the roster and coaching staff.

“It’s 15 games,” Cashman said Monday. “It’s 15 games I’d like to forget.”

Yankee fans are in crisis mode after a weekend sweep by the division rival Tampa Bay Rays that dropped New York to an American League-worst 5-10, marking only the eighth time in franchise history they have lost 10 of their first 15 games.

The Yankee offense has struggled mightily out of the gate, batting .210 as a team with a .346 slugging percentage — the lowest in the majors — and just 16 home runs despite a slugger-laden lineup that features Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.

When asked if there was any consideration about the coaching staff, Cashman backed up manager Aaron Boone and hitting coach Marcus Thames.

“I’ve got a lot of trust in the people we have,” Cashman said. “I’ve seen them work a lot of magic along the way. … We’re not reactive. I don’t see us reacting to not believing in the staff we have, and the players we have either.”

Cashman said he believes the offense will eventually become a strength for the Yankees with so much time left on the schedule.

“We trust our players and their abilities and we trust over the course of time that it will, as it normally does, correct itself with a lot more games under the belt,” he said.

The Yankees are off to their worst start since 1997, when they went 5-10 with Joe Torre as manager. That team bounced back and won 96 games before reaching the playoffs as a wild card. Cashman said he has faith in the current roster to turn their collective performance around.

“When you have a really talented roster, you just want them to be who they are and what they’re capable of, plug and play and let them go,” Cashman said. “And so I’ve got full confidence in our staff because I’ve seen them work a lot of magic along the way, impact a lot of players along the way.”

Cashman said that despite the sluggish start, the Yankees won’t overreact to a handful of games at the start of the season.

“Change doesn’t happen without a great deal of thought and effort and reason behind it, and we’re not reactive,” Cashman said. “And so I don’t see us reacting to how to shake the roster up too quickly and I don’t see us reacting to not believing in the staff that we have and the players that we have either.

“That’s the message to our players: ‘Hey man, we do believe in you. We know what you’re capable of. This is a bad stretch, we’re going to get through this together.'”

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Los Angeles Dodgers’ AJ Pollock (hamstring) likely headed to IL, Dave Roberts says

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Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder AJ Pollock left Friday night’s 9-6 win over the Miami Marlins with a left hamstring strain and is likely headed for the injured list, manager Dave Roberts said.

Pollock was making his first start since straining his left hamstring last week in a 9-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

In the second inning Friday, Pollock singled in the game’s first run but aggravated his hamstring injury when he took third base on Austin Barnes‘ RBI double. Pollock was removed for a pinch-runner.

“He felt it grab, so kind of right now, with where we’re at, I assume it’s gonna be an IL and we’ll probably have a move tomorrow,” Roberts said.

Pollock is batting .277 with four home runs and 17 RBIs in 32 games.

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Jarred Kelenic has Mariners ‘excited’ as first MLB homer keys big night

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SEATTLE — At two minor league levels, the first hit for prized Seattle prospect Jarred Kelenic was a home run.

Same start in the majors.

Kelenic made his first career hit extra memorable with a two-run homer and later added a pair of doubles, leading the Mariners to a 7-3 win over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night.

After going hitless in his big league debut Thursday night, Kelenic brought the Seattle crowd to its feet with a long ball in the third inning. He stayed with an off-speed pitch from Aaron Civale, but still had the power to drive it 403 feet out to right-center field.

The ball was clocked at 109.3 mph off the bat, and Kelenic’s sprint around the bases seemed just as fast. He embraced fellow young Seattle star Kyle Lewis in the dugout with a bear hug and tipped his cap to the fans when their standing ovation didn’t stop.

“I didn’t even know that that’s what they wanted, until people were like, ‘Get out there.’ I didn’t know what was going on until I realized that everyone was standing up,” Kelenic said. “But that’s something I’ve always imagined.”

Kelenic, 21, became the youngest Mariners player to homer since Adam Jones in 2006 and joined Lewis in hitting a home run for their first major league hits. Lewis did it in September 2019.

Kelenic also homered for his first hits at Class A Modesto in 2019 and with Triple-A Tacoma earlier this month.

“A lot to get excited about. Big night for him tonight and his family and our team quite frankly,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “It’s loud in here, guys are excited, they know what he can bring and he’s going to continue to have fun, that’s for sure.”

Kelenic added a pair of hustling doubles in the fifth and seventh, the second scoring Sam Haggerty to give Seattle a 5-1 lead.

Kelenic became the fifth player in Mariners history with three or more hits in his first two career games, and the first since Carlos Guillén in 1998. Kelenic also is the 18th player in baseball history with three or more extra-base hits in his first two career games.

“I’m a competitor. I want to win. I want to bury our opponents, each and every night,” Kelenic said. “It really bugs me when I give away at-bats or if I don’t execute on what I’m trying to do.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Kansas City Royals 3B Hunter Dozier to IL, Chicago White Sox 1B Jose Abreu day-to-day after collision

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Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu and Kansas City Royals third baseman Hunter Dozier both left Game 1 of Friday’s doubleheader after they collided in the second inning.

Dozier, who left with a quad contusion and neck discomfort, was placed on the seven-day concussion injured list, and the club recalled Kelvin Gutierrez from Triple-A Omaha prior to Game 2 of the doubleheader.

Abreu is day-to-day after leaving the game with a facial contusion, laceration and bruised left knee. The initial assessment for a concussion was negative.

“He’s doing well enough that he wants to play the second game [of the doubleheader],” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “He’s bruised. He’s sore. It could have been worse. … There’s a sense of relief.”

The nasty collision occurred after Dozier popped up right in front of home plate. As Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal and Abreu converged on it, Dozier started to run to first base, and, while avoiding Grandal, he ran right into Abreu, who was looking up at the ball.

The two hit the ground hard. They lay next to each other for several moments as they were attended to by their respective training staffs. Eventually, both walked off the field with assistance.

“It was extremely scary in the moment,” White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito said. “That was a big collision. [Abreu’s] taking some hits and gets right back up. After a minute, he got up and said he was fine and could keep playing. That’s the type of player that he is. He’ll do anything for this team.

“It was a huge relief going in and seeing he’s good, in high spirits. He’ll probably be back playing tomorrow.”

Abreu is the reigning AL MVP and a big part of Chicago’s success this season. Dozier has been struggling and is in the midst of an 0-for-31 skid. Grandal took over at first base, and Zack Collins came in to catch for the White Sox. Hanser Alberto took over at third base for the Royals, who ended up snapping an 11-game skid with the 6-2 win.

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