KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It was a regularly scheduled day off for Mark Teixeira on Sunday, having nothing to do with his troublesome right wrist.

But it also is part of a new normal in Joe Girardi's handling of the first baseman, at least for this season.

"It's just being proactive with it," Girardi said before the Yankees' 2-1 loss. "He's played five days in a row with it, so we just thought we'd give him a day and we'll have him in there tomorrow . . . It's just he's coming off where it was pretty sore, so I'm just trying to stay proactive here."

The Yankees conclude a four-game series against the Royals Monday night before heading to Seattle.

"It's a quick turnaround. [Sunday is] a day game after a night game, so I thought I'd give him a day," Girardi said. "And we're in a stretch of 17 in a row, so he's going to need a day somewhere."

Kelly Johnson, who has mostly struggled in the field this season when replacing Teixeira, filled in with no issues. Johnson went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts before Teixeira pinch hit for him in the ninth and grounded out to first.

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Beltran still feeling it

After Saturday's game, in which he drove in two runs with a double, Carlos Beltran said he still felt the bone spur in his right elbow that sidelined him for more than a month, but added that he can play with it.

"We'll check with him. You have to," Girardi said before getting to the crux of what ultimately could prove to be his club's biggest obstacle the rest of the year. "We're a team where we're not running a bunch of 25-year-old kids out there. So you have to pay attention to signs and do what you can. But we also have to win games and guys have to play, and you're going to be a little bit beat up."

 

Kelley almost ready

Girardi said Shawn Kelley (back), who pitched in a rehab game Saturday night for Double-A Trenton, will pitch for Triple-A Scranton / Wilkes-Barre on Monday. If all goes well, he likely will join the team in Seattle.

"He's been out a month," Girardi said. "We felt for him, better to make sure he bounces back OK."

 

Playing first, Cervelli?

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Catcher Francisco Cervelli (hamstring) is on target to return Friday from the 60-day DL the first day he's eligible. Recently, during his rehab, the Yankees have had him taking ground balls at first base.

"You never know what type of situation you're going to get into in games," Girardi said.