Mark Teixeira plays in game for first time since June 15
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CLEARWATER, Fla. - Mark Teixeira declared the day "a good first step.''
And almost all of that entailed feeling no pain in his surgically repaired right wrist.
Appearing in a game for the first time since June 15, Teixeira went 0-for-3 Thursday afternoon against the Phillies. The first baseman, who tore a tendon sheath on March 5, 2013, in a batting cage while preparing for the World Baseball Classic and later needed surgery after being limited to 15 regular-season games in 2013, hit one ball hard, a fly to center off righty Kyle Kendrick.
"Wrist felt good, body felt good,'' he said. "So I'm happy.''
The switch-hitting Teixeira has plenty on his list of boxes to check before he's worry-free, but he saw this as progress.
"A couple,'' he said of the boxes he checked. "Just being in a live game. Seeing what it felt like to run around out there, seeing live pitching, swinging at good pitches, that was good. Making contact, get jammed, hitting a ball off the end [of the bat]. Doing some of the things you do during the season, and I did a lot of them today.''
Carlos Beltran, slated to bat fourth and play rightfield, was pulled from the lineup because of concerns about the outfield, which absorbed a lot of rain.
"Just because of the weather,'' Joe Girardi said.
Beltran's replacement, Ramon Flores, homered to right in the third for a 1-0 lead and drove in the winning run in the eighth with a sacrifice fly.
Alfonso Soriano, sidelined much of spring training with flu-like symptoms, played his first game and went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts as the DH.
"I don't feel comfortable out there, but that's my first game,'' he said, "and I'm looking forward to more at-bats and getting my timing.''
Derek Jeter snapped an 0-for-10 start with a single in the third inning. He doubled to left-center in the fifth . . . Danny Burawa, a righthanded reliever from Rocky Point and St. John's who impressed the Yankees and opposing team scouts during spring training two years ago before tearing an oblique, got the victory with a scoreless seventh inning. He is a dark-horse threat to earn a bullpen spot out of camp.