Robertson, Gardner continue to improve

Brett Gardner looks on from the dugout. (May Brett Gardner looks on from the dugout. (May 10, 2012) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

advertisement | advertise on newsday

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Yankees went 2-for-2 Monday in receiving positive news regarding two of their injured players, though no dates for the return of Brett Gardner and David Robertson have been set.

Robertson (strained left oblique) and Gardner (strained right elbow) worked in Tampa and neither had any setbacks, Joe Girardi said.

Robertson, who played catch Friday, did so again Monday and plans the same Tuesday. Girardi said it was too soon to say when the reliever, on the DL since May 14, will appear in rehab games.

Gardner swung a bat for the first time since a setback May 9 and will swing again Tuesday. The outfielder, on the DL since April 18, is "probably at least 10 days" from a return to the lineup, according to Girardi. Gardner could appear in rehab games in "a week or so," he added.

Russell Martin was in the starting lineup Monday night. His neck stiffened up while he lifted weights Saturday, sidelining him Sunday in Oakland.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Andy looking good

Andy Pettitte (2-1, 2.53) faces the Angels' Dan Haren (2-5, 3.76) Tuesday night. "I felt like I'd be able to get back to where I was," he said. "So to say that I'm surprised, I really am not. I still feel like I have a ways to go mentally as far as the focus I want to have. But other than that, I feel real good about my stuff as far as all my pitches and where they're at."

Said Girardi: "He's been better than I thought. I have to say, it's as good as I've seen his slider in all the years I've seen Andy pitch."

Comfort zone

Entering Monday night, Rafael Soriano, who last closed regularly in 2010 and had 45 saves and a 1.73 ERA with Tampa, was 5-for-5 in save opportunities. He has allowed one run (none in the last four) and no walks with five strikeouts.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

"I never doubted that he would look comfortable," Girardi said. "I don't think you forget how to close just because you haven't done it for a year or so. He looks comfortable."

You also may be interested in: