No, Mark Teixeira said, his recent success at the plate won’t change his mind.
“I only have a few of those left,” he said of his standout day, which included an RBI double in the fifth inning and a stellar defensive play that saved a run in the seventh Sunday. “Got a big hit, which is always fun, and made a big play, and sometimes defensively the plays are more important than offensively. I enjoy playing first base, I really do. That’s one of the reasons that I’m hanging it up after this season because it’s tougher and tougher to play first every day.”
Teixeira, 36, announced Friday his intent to retire after this season. He has struggled much of the year but has been on a little bit of a streak lately. The double gave him at least one extra-base hit in four of his last five games. “I’ll try to do the best I can the last two months,” Teixeira said.
That hit made it 3-0, but his biggest contribution might have been in the seventh. The Indians trailed 3-1 and had runners at first and second with two outs. Francisco Lindor ripped a grounder down the line, and Teixeira made a sliding stop. Pitcher Adam Warren was slow to cover, so Teixeira had to take it himself. He got up, stumbled to the base and dived glove-first at the bag, touching it a split-second before Lindor and somehow avoiding what could have been a nasty collision.
“He’s fast and I was starting from scratch and he was going full steam,” Teixeira said of his decision. “I knew I was going to have to dive for that one.”
What was he thinking?
Joe Girardi was still scratching his head afterward regarding Jacoby Ellsbury. He singled to lead off the third but then was doubled off first, never stopping when Teixeira sent a routine foul pop to third that was caught by Jose Ramirez.
“The answer made about as much sense as him going,” Girardi said of Ellsbury’s explanation. “It was a real brain cramp . . . But that’s a first for me.’’
Brett Gardner is tied with Ellsbury for the team lead in triples (five), including three in his last six games . . . Masahiro Tanaka has allowed two or fewer earned runs in 15 of his 23 starts and one earned run or fewer in nine of 23.