OAKLAND, Calif. — It is too early to call it a slump-buster, but Joe Girardi and Mark Teixeira certainly can hope.
With two outs in the sixth, Brett Gardner on second and the Yankees trailing 3-2, Teixeira stepped to the plate against righthander John Axford, brought in to face him.
Axford started Teixeira, in a 0-for-19 slide, with a breaking ball for a strike and missed low with a fastball. Teixeira fouled a fastball away, took a fastball high, then hit a hard grounder to the right of second baseman Chris Coghlan, who was playing in short rightfield. Coghlan had to backhand the ball and make an off-balance throw, Teixeira beat it out and a hustling Gardner scored from second, sliding headfirst across the plate, to tie it at 3.
“Hopefully that’s the one [that gets him going],” Girardi said. “That’s a huge hit. We’re down 3-2, it changes the way we can use our bullpen, it changes a lot of different things.”
Whether it will change Teixeira’s season remains to be seen. He entered the game with a .191/.296/.284 slash line, including .138/.242/.241 batting lefthanded.
“Today I took a couple of good swings,” he said. “But they pitched me tough. Hopefully I can get on a roll.”
A-Rod still on for Tuesday
Girardi said the plan remains for Alex Rodriguez (right hamstring strain), who was eligible to come off the disabled list last Thursday but did not because he was not able to run at full speed, to return to the lineup Tuesday night.
“I was pretty satisfied with what we saw on Friday,” Girardi said of A-Rod’s on-field running before that game.
Plan for Severino
Girardi said Luis Severino, on the DL since May 14 with a right triceps strain, will throw a bullpen session Tuesday and make a rehab start Sunday.
“He’s doing pretty well physically,” Girardi said.
Severino, 0-6 with a 7.46 ERA and very possibly, headed to the minors when he is healthy, threw on flat ground for the first time Saturday.