Stephen Drew rewards Yankees' faith in him

BOSTON -- It hasn't just been one bad season for Stephen Drew, but two, or at least one and five-sixths. But as we head into the final month of the 2015 season, Drew is finally beginning to show why the New York Yankees thought it a good investment to bring him back on a one-year, $5 million contract after a half-season in which he hit .150 for them.

On this just-concluded road trip, Drew has enjoyed easily his best week as a Yankee -- a four-hit, four-RBI game in Atlanta on Sunday, a pinch-hit single here on Monday, a two-run double on Tuesday and three hits, including a three-run homer, his 17th of the season, in Wednesday's 13-8 win over the Boston Red Sox.

Drew's average is now up to a season-high .211 and the 17 home runs are more than any other AL second baseman except the Twins' Brian Dozier, who has 26.

Through it all, the Yankees have largely stuck with Drew, giving rookie Rob Refsnyder a brief look-see around the All-Star break and occasionally spelling him with Brendan Ryan, Jose Pirela and Gregorio Petit (remember him?) throughout the season.

But now the job clearly belongs to Drew the rest of the way, even with both Refsnyder and Pirela back with the Yankees as September call-ups.

"It's good to finally have some confidence back," Drew said. "That's a good feeling. I know what I can do. I know what's there. It's just a matter of putting it together and staying consistent. I've had some good at-bats and some frustrating at-bats through the year, and here we are now. I've kept my head up the whole time, and worked at it, and it's a good feeling to be hitting the ball the way I am this past week."

And when asked how it felt to know that the Yankees have confidence in him, too, Drew said, "Kudos to them. They know what they've got. Power numbers are there. It's just kinda been a crazy year. It's just one of those things, you keep working at it and keep working at it. It's been a good feeling this past week, and hopefully I can keep it going the rest of the month."

Drew also got a vote of confidence from Brian McCann. "If you take a step back, he's hit 17 home runs," McCann said. "That's impacting a lot of games. You can talk about batting average all you want, but he is impacting games, and he plays Gold Glove defense."

Drew's resurgence probably means reduced playing time for both Refsnyder and Pirela. Asked before Wednesday's game how he planned to use Refsnyder, the darling of thousands of Yankee fans who have barely seen him play, Girardi said, "I don't know. I have not said he's going to play this much or that much. With the way Stephen Drew is playing, he's going to play."

And after the game, in which Drew looked like a guy you just can't take out of the lineup, Girardi was asked what he thought his second baseman was doing differently over the past few games.

"I'm not really asking a whole lot of questions," Girardi said, "Because whatever he's doing, it's working."