It has been a slow restart for Jacoby Ellsbury.

The centerfielder, on the disabled list from May 20-July 7 with a sprained right knee, entered Tuesday night 7-for-34 in eight games since his return, including one hit in his last 17 at-bats.

"I do," Joe Girardi said, asked if he felt Ellsbury was still knocking some rust off. "I think he's due to get hot here pretty soon. It'd be a great time right now."

Girardi said Ellsbury, who led the Yankees in batting average (.324), on-base percentage (. 412) and stolen bases (14) when he landed on the DL, has likely been hurt by the schedule.

"It probably didn't help that he played those four or five games before we had four days off [for the All-Star break], and then you're playing three days in a row," Girardi said. "So hopefully, he's feeling more comfortable at the plate."

One time only

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Brett Gardner ran afoul of MLB rules regarding player uniform standardization by being the only Yankee to wear white spikes in Sunday's victory over Seattle. He was not fined but heard about it from the league and the Yankees.

"I got several warnings already, unofficial and official, from the bottom all the way to the top," Gardner said before Tuesday night's game. "It was a one-time thing. I've been warned, so I won't be wearing them again."

Said Girardi: "We took care of it."

Let's be careful

The Yankees were lucky for the most part in keeping veterans Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran -- especially A-Rod and Teixeira -- on the field this season.

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"I'm going to have to pick days to give them days off," he said. "Some day games after night games, possibly. Maybe take one guy out, DH another guy, that sort of thing. But I think it's important that we keep them strong."