Postgame notes: Solarte soars early

NEW YORK -- Some day, there's going to be another guy with six doubles in the first seven major-league games he plays.

And someone's going to do some research and come up with the name of Yangervis Solarte.

He might be as much of an unknown then as he was a week ago. He may be just another career minor leaguer who came up and had a great week in April but was forgotten by June.

At least he's had this week.

"He's living his dream," teammate Alfonso Soriano said Tuesday.

The Yankees had a lousy day, but their 26-year-old rookie third baseman had another good one, one that gave him his tiny little piece of baseball history. His two doubles in the Yankees' 14-5 loss to the Orioles were his fifth and sixth, the most in the majors and the most anyone in recorded major-league history has had in the first seven games of a career.

What does it mean? Not a whole heck of a lot, any more than Jacoby Ellsbury's strong start at the plate means. The Yankees have played eight games, and we've had "small sample size" drilled into our heads enough to understand that eight games over the course of the season means little.

Except that they're the only eight games we have to go by right now. And the stats do count, and early impressions do make some impact.

Ellsbury signed a $153 million contract over the winter, and if he struggled through the first week, some would already be asking if it was affecting him.

Instead, he had another three-hit game Tuesday, his third in the last five games. After going hitless in his first two games and then getting a day off, he's 12 for 22 in the last five games.

"You never know how a new player is going to start off," manager Joe Girardi said. "But you never know how any player will. In any case, it's nice to see."

You know even less about Solarte, who spent eight years in the minor leagues and signed with the Yankees as a minor-league free agent. He made the team as the 25th player, but he got a chance to start the second game of the season, and started hitting.

Mark Teixeira's injury opened a spot on the infield, and Solarte has kept hitting.

Ten years from now, or even 10 weeks from now, this may not be memorable to anyone but him.

Right now, though, he's living a dream.

IN THEIR DEFENSE: Obviously, the Yankees didn't pitch well Tuesday. But there's another part of run prevention, and the Yankee defense didn't have a good day, either.

Ivan Nova might have had a scoreless first inning had Derek Jeter been able to turn a Delmon Young ground ball into a double play (instead, it went by him up the middle for a single that made it first and third, nobody out. Ellsbury made a particularly weak throw on the short Chris Davis sacrifice fly that followed. Later, the Yankees were unable to turn a second-inning Ryan Flaherty bunt into an out, and allowed Davis a fourth-inning infield hit when Brian Roberts' throw pulled Francisco Cervelli off the base at first.

A FIRST FOR CERVELLI: Cervelli's first game at first base wasn't terribly eventful, and Girardi said he was pleased enough that Cervelli could get other starts at first against left-handed pitching. The Yankees could see Jon Lester and Felix Doubront this weekend against the Red Sox.

One difference in playing first base for the first time: Cervelli had his name called in the Bleacher Creatures' first-inning role call. The catcher doesn't get called.

"That was exciting," Cervelli said.

SORI CATCHES THE DUKE: Soriano is off to a slow start, but his fourth-inning home run was the 407th of his career, tying Duke Snider for 50th place on baseball's all-time list.