Beltran 'huge' in sparking Yanks' hot streak

Slugger finishes 9-for-18 with 8 RBIs in 4-game sweep

Beltran 'huge' in sparking Yanks' hot streak

OAKLAND -- Carlos Beltran's red-hot road trip helped propel the Yankees out of the basement in the American League East, and the slugging switch-hitter believes that this is just the beginning of things to come.

Beltran banged another two hits, including an RBI double, in the Yankees' 5-4 victory over the Athletics on Sunday. His 10-for-22 (.455) tear has been a major component in their season-high five-game winning streak.

"When you're capable of winning ballgames and you win ballgames in a row, you develop a little confidence," Beltran said. "You develop a sense of, OK, we're back on track. We felt like that, being able to take four out of four here. It's huge."

Beltran was 9-for-18 with six extra-base hits and eight RBIs in the four-game series at Oakland, playing all four games as the designated hitter.

"His mindset is, he knows his swing through and through," catcher Brian McCann said. "He knows the pitchers, what they're trying to do to him. Age is no problem. When you're smart and you know your swing, you know what the pitchers are trying to do to you. You can produce at a high level."

Life as a DH seems to have agreed with Beltran nicely, but it is a role that he accepted reluctantly while Alex Rodriguez has been on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain, yielding right field to Aaron Hicks.

"Carlos has been huge. He's been really big for us," Mark Teixeira said. "When Alex went down, Carlos really stepped up. That's what you need. A good team is going to have to have guys step up when others go down. He's really filled in nicely in that DH spot, given other guys like Hicksy a chance to play, which is nice."

Now that Rodriguez is expected to re-join the active roster on Tuesday, Beltran said that he is looking forward to returning to right field.

"Of course. That's my position," Beltran said. "I know Joe is always trying to find a way to give me days here and there. I have no problem with that. I love to be in the outfield. I love to be in the game. I feel like I'm more productive being out there."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.