Brett Gardner reacts after hitting into a seventh inning-ending double...

Brett Gardner reacts after hitting into a seventh inning-ending double play against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on June 30, 2014. Credit: Getty Images / Jim McIsaac

The Yankees were without Brett Gardner and Martin Prado, two of their most productive hitters, on Tuesday night, and Joe Girardi wasn't quite sure when either will return.

Girardi said an MRI on Gardner showed a "mild abdominal strain," but the Yankees manager all but shrugged when asked when Gardner might be in the lineup. "That's a concern of mine," Girardi said.

Gardner, who hasn't played since Friday, was scheduled to meet with the Yankees' doctors before the game. Girardi was hopeful they would come up with a timetable for the outfielder to at least begin doing some "baseball activities."

Prado suffered a strained left hamstring Sept. 2 and returned to the lineup during the weekend. But the effects of his hamstring injury were obvious when he attempted to run the bases, so the Yankees held him out Tuesday night.

"There's concern with him playing on that where he can really make it worse with the hamstring to where it becomes a serious issue," Girardi said. "It still bothers him."

Tanaka close

Masahiro Tanaka threw his first simulated game since he reported soreness in his arm two weeks ago and he said he felt "stronger."

As long as feels fine Wednesday, Tanaka will throw another simulated game to build up his pitch count -- he threw 45 Tuesday -- and then after that, Girardi thinks he could pitch again.

"I think he wants to feel that he can go home and have a normal offseason," Girardi said, "and then he's going to be healthy."

First start for Young

Chris Young, released by the Mets last month, was in the Yankees' lineup for the first time since they called him up when rosters expanded. He had a two-run single in the fifth.

Alas, Young, who batted ninth, said some people he's bumped into around New York still think he's a Met.

"I don't think," Young said, "that word has gotten around town yet."

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