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The Yankees keep losing first basemen, but not games

NEW YORK -- This is the New York Yankees' story on most nights right now: They win, this time defeating the Los Angeles Angels 6-3, and another first baseman bites the dust.

On Thursday, it was Chris Parmelee. This would not be that big of a deal on most nights, but he just hit two homers Wednesday and the Yankees are running low on first basemen.

It is now an all-out plague. Before the season began, top prospect Greg Bird was lost for the season to shoulder surgery. Dustin Ackley recently suffered the same fate.

Mark Teixeira is out with a knee injury but hopes to avoid season-ending surgery. The Yankees have the struggling Nick Swisher at Triple-A, but they seem hesitant to call him up. Rob Refsnyder, who just began playing professionally last week, looks like he will be the guy manager Joe Girardi runs out there every day.

Parmelee, a journeyman, suffered what looked like a bad hamstring injury. Girardi said he would be shocked if Parmelee doesn't end up on the disabled list.

For fans thinking about shifting Carlos Beltran to first, Beltran didn't sound enthused when I brought the idea up to him, saying maybe in an emergency but not every day, which is understandable considering he has spent the past 18 years beyond the infield dirt.

Still, the Yankees, with their preseason plan in full effect, are rolling. Ivan Nova (5-3) pitched well again, going 6⅓ innings and giving up three runs. He handed off to the big three, Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman for the textbook win.

The Yankees have won four straight, six of eight and 14 of 22. It could be the start of an extended run.

Their upcoming schedule, to borrow a line from the birthday boy, Dickie V, "is Cupcake City, baby!" The next three are against a middling Detroit Tigers club. The Tigers are not pushovers, but neither are they anything special.

After that, the Yankees should get fat with a chance to put some room between themselves and .500. Over two weeks they have seven games against baseball's worst team, the Twins, and four against the under-.500 Rockies. It is quite reasonable to imagine an 8-3 run, maybe better, which could have the Yankees with their heads firmly above .500 as they approach July.

The Yankees are suddenly hitting again, especially at the top of the order. Jacoby Ellsbury -- not playing like a $153 million bust -- is batting .336 with a .933 OPS since May 1. Brett Gardner has a seven-game hit streak in which he has batted .556 (15-for-27). Beltran has hit at a .351 clip with an 1.162 OPS over his past 20 games. Alex Rodriguez is batting .342 (13-for-38) over his last nine games, raising his average from .170 to .222.

If the Yankees keep that up, they will be able to absorb the revolving door at first. Especially with a schedule that is about to become even more forgiving.