New York Yankees' Robinson Cano flips his bat after a...

New York Yankees' Robinson Cano flips his bat after a fourth-inning strikeout that stranded Mark Teixeira at first base in the fourth inning. (June 10, 2012) Credit: AP

WASHINGTON -- Entering Friday night, the Yankees had played 62 games and Robinson Cano had started all of them.

Therefore, there was quite a bit of pregame buzz when the second baseman, who had 60 starts in the field and two starts at DH, wasn't in the lineup.

"I'm OK," Cano said. "They just said they wanted to give me an off day."

With lefthander Gio Gonzalez on the mound, Joe Girardi saw an opportunity to give one of his more durable players two days off. The Yankees didn't play Thursday.

Cano was 0-for-9 with four strikeouts in his career against Gonzalez. Jayson Nix, who started at second, was 3-for-7 with a homer against him.

"It's preemptive," Girardi said of the off day. "And he got spiked . And we've got this stretch of games and then we have 13 in a row and I felt if there's a time to do it, now's the time."

That left Curtis Granderson as the lone Yankee to have started every game. "I was surprised," Cano said of not being in the lineup. "I said I wanted to play. But he's the manager."

 

Andy turns 40

Andy Pettitte (3-2, 2.81), who starts Saturday, turned 40 Friday and joked about facing Bryce Harper, 19.

"I have a kid who in three or four months is going to be 18," he said. "It's definitely strange. But you have to go over the scouting reports and try and figure out how to get the kid out."

 

Extra bases

Pedro Feliciano (rotator cuff), who hasn't pitched since 2010 with the Mets, quietly has been making steady progress in Tampa and threw a half-mound bullpen session Friday . . . David Aardsma (Tommy John surgery) threw in a minor-league intrasquad game Friday and there's a chance he'll make a rehab appearance with the GCL Yankees on Tuesday . . . Joba Chamberlain (ankle) could pitch batting practice in seven to 10 days . . . Longtime trainer Gene Monahan, who retired to North Carolina after last season, made the trip here to fill in for the man who replaced him. Steve Donohue has a graduation to attend Saturday and Monahan came in Friday.

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