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Struggling Russell Martin gets a night off

New York Yankees catcher Russell Martin, left, and

New York Yankees catcher Russell Martin, left, and starting pitcher Ivan Nova react after Tampa Bay Rays' Elliot Johnson scored during the third inning. (July 3, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

BOSTON -- Joe Girardi decided to give Russell Martin a head start on his All-Star break. The catcher, who snapped an 0-for-30 slump Saturday night, but otherwise has had a miserable first half of the season, was not in the lineup Sunday night.

"It was a tough half for Russell," Girardi said. "So I'll give him one extra day and I told him, come back after the break and be the player you're capable of being. Put the first half behind you."

Entering Sunday night, Martin was hitting .179 with a .300 on-base percentage, eight homers and 21 RBIs. Girardi has said his good work behind the plate will keep him in the lineup regardless of his offensive struggles.

"It's tough because I know he's disappointed and I know he wants to play," Girardi said of sitting him Sunday night. "I'm just trying to [get him] to put the first half behind him . . . I can see sometimes in a guy's face, not necessarily in his play but his face, that it's tough. It's tough what he's went through."

CC on schedule

Girardi announced his rotation to start the second half and it includes CC Sabathia.

Hiroki Kuroda will begin the series against the Angels at the Stadium Friday, followed by Freddy Garcia and Ivan Nova. Phil Hughes will start next Monday against the Blue Jays, with Sabathia, who is on the DL with a groin strain, pitching the following day.

"It always [stinks] going on the DL, but it was something that needed to be done," said Sabathia, who will throw a bullpen session Tuesday in Kansas City and a simulated game Friday in the Bronx. "I feel better now."

Extra bases

Girardi said Joba Chamberlain (ankle) is likely to pitch in his first rehab game Tuesday for the Gulf Coast League Yankees in Bradenton . . . Brett Gardner (right elbow strain) did 25 tee-and-toss swings Sunday, but Girardi said there is no timetable for when he might start rehab games . . . David Aardsma, who had a setback a little more than a week ago and was shut down, will see surgeon Lewis Yocum, this week to have his right elbow evaluated.

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