Smith showing he can hit lefties too

Smith showing he can hit lefties too

NEW YORK -- Rockies right fielder Seth Smith insisted sending a message wasn't on his mind when he delivered a run-scoring, pinch-hit single off Yankees left-hander C.C. Sabathia in the eighth inning of Saturday afternoon's 8-3 loss.

As has been the case much of the season, Smith did not start against a lefty.

"There was a runner on third; you always want to get a hit, and if you do, you can get an RBI for it," Smith said. "Other than that, no message. They sent me up there to hit, so I hit."

Manager Jim Tracy said he will use Smith against left-handers, but not against Sabathia. Left-handed hitters Todd Helton and Jason Giambi started and looked bad in some at-bats Saturday. Tracy said the decision was to protect Smith's current roll. He went into Sunday's start against Yankees righty Ivan Nova having hit .421 (8-for-19) with two home runs and three doubles on the current road trip.

For the season, Smith has hit .335 against right-handers and .225 against lefties, in just 40 at-bats.

"I want to play every day," Smith said. "I'm here to play. I'm not here to sit around and pinch-hit. Anytime I'm not in the lineup, I'm not excited or happy about it. That being said, I don't worry about things I can't control directly. Obviously, I can control it if I got a hit every time I faced a lefty, I'm sure they'd have to play me. But if I'm in there, I get ready to start. If not, I get ready to pinch-hit."