Work with Long has helped Young thrive with Yanks

Approach unchanged, but outfielder hitting stride thanks to hitting coach

Work with Long has helped Young thrive with Yanks

BALTIMORE -- During his time-out as a released free agent, Chris Young had a strange feeling that he shouldn't give up his New York City apartment just yet, but he couldn't have imagined that a surge like this was waiting around the corner.

Young has found new life with the Yankees, homering for a third straight game in the first contest of Friday's doubleheader against the Orioles. His 11th-inning drive off Brad Brach accounted for the first run of what unraveled into a 2-1 New York loss.

"I've felt pretty good," Young said. "You're just pretty much in the mindset to try to do whatever you can to win a game."

Heading into Friday's second game, Young was batting .500 (8-for-16) with three doubles, three homers and eight RBIs over his last four games, showing the kind of production that the Mets hoped they would get when they signed him to a $7.25 million deal this past winter.

Instead, Young batted just .205 with eight homers and 28 RBIs in 88 games before being released in August.

"It's the game; sometimes struggles don't make sense," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Sometimes years are tougher than others. You can be in an 0-for-25 slump and you come and go 10-for-15. ... You get a fresh start and things click."

Young said that there have been no drastic changes to his approach since he switched boroughs, but he does believe that he has benefited from working with Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long.

"I've been able to get some great one-on-one time with him and get some quality work in," Young said. "I had that little extra time off to really work on my swing."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.