NEW YORK (AP) -Shelley Duncan, whose father and brother reached the majors, made his big league debut Friday night and hit an RBI single for the New York Yankees in their 14-4 loss to Tampa Bay.
The Yankees purchased Duncan's contract from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre earlier in the day and optioned outfielder Kevin Thompson to their top farm club.
Duncan found out about his promotion after Scranton's 7-6 win in Indianapolis on Thursday night and spoke with his father, Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan. He later talked to his brother, St. Louis outfielder Chris Duncan.
``Dad was ecstatic, my brother was just pumped,'' Shelley Duncan said. ``It was neat. It was really neat talking to my dad.''
Duncan hit .295 with 25 homers and 79 RBIs in 91 games at Triple-A. He was leading the International League with a .577 slugging percentage when he was called up, and was second in homers and RBIs.
The 27-year-old stayed focused while he waited for his chance in the majors.
``I think that's what you learn being in this organization, is patience,'' Duncan said, ``and the ability to not let outside influences affect your everyday business. This year, more than any other, was a test of it all.''
Duncan took a flight to New York on Friday morning and went 1-for-4. He singled home Robinson Cano in the eighth inning for his first big league hit and RBI.
Duncan started at designated hitter against Tampa Bay and played first base for the last two innings. He also could see time in the outfield with New York.
``He gives us a little versatility,'' manager Joe Torre said.
Melky Cabrera was out of the starting lineup for the opener of the four-game series. He pinch-hit in the eighth and struck out. Johnny Damon started in center field, with Duncan at DH. Cabrera has a mild stomach muscle strain but is expected to play Saturday.
The Yankees also moved first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL to make room for Duncan on the 40-man roster.
Thompson was batting .190 with two RBIs in 13 games.
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