Bombers bits

Bombers bits

• Outfielder Brett Gardner took batting practice on Friday and is expected to do so again on Saturday, then will graduate to a simulated game on Sunday. Gardner hasn't played since April 17 because of a strained right elbow, but could return to the Yankees at the end of this month if he has no further setbacks.

• Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he expects to "stand pat" with a five-man bench until CC Sabathia is activated for Tuesday's start. The Yankees added outfielder Darnell McDonald to the roster on July 6 after claiming him on waivers from the Red Sox.

• Girardi said that it is "really encouraging" that right-hander Joba Chamberlain is set to pitch two innings in a Gulf Coast League game on Saturday morning. The Yankees are optimistic that Chamberlain could be in the Major League bullpen in August.

• Brooklyn Nets All-Star guard Joe Johnson threw out Friday's ceremonial first pitch. Nets head coach Avery Johnson was planning to join the Bleacher Creatures for their first-inning roll call.

• On this date in 1934, Babe Ruth hit his 700th home run, off the Tigers' Elden Auker, at Detroit's Navin Field.