Yankees' pitching coach Dave Eiland comes to the mound with...

Yankees' pitching coach Dave Eiland comes to the mound with catcher Francisco Cervelli to talk with A.J. Burnett after hew walks Rays' Tampa Bay Rays' Ben Zobrist in the fourth inning. (May 19, 2010) Credit: Kathy Kmonicek

Yes, the Yankees got steamrolled by the Rays, 10-6, last night in a showdown of teams with baseball's best records. But that quickly became a footnote to the evening's bigger story - yet another Yankee heading to the disabled list.

An MRI done Wednesday on Jorge Posada, who left Sunday's game after fouling a ball off his right foot, showed a hairline fracture on the bottom of his foot.

Joe Girardi estimated Posada would be out 3-4 weeks, though Posada said he'll return sooner. "It's not going to take that long,'' said Posada, who after the game wore a boot on the foot. "They can say whatever they want to say, I'll be here before that.''

Regardless, the Yankees, already missing Nick Johnson (wrist), Curtis Granderson (groin) and Nick Swisher, still day to day with tightness in his left biceps, suddenly are going through something similar to what the Mets endured a year ago.

There was even a bizarre Mets-like injury last night, when Marcus Thames singled to left in the sixth and somehow managed to step on the bat he had just released, spraining his left ankle. Ramiro Peña, Girardi's lone reserve, took Thames' spot in right. Thames is day to day.

Girardi said to expect "a couple'' of roster moves Thursday. The first likely move is sending reliever Mark Melancon back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and recalling outfielder Greg Golson. With a need for a catcher, Chad Moeller is the most likely callup, though the Yankees would have to create a spot on the 40-man roster. The most logical choice would be to put Johnson, who had wrist surgery Tuesday, on the 60-day DL.

Girardi, at the start of the week, said his bullpen "is a mess'' because of the doubleheader in Detroit last week, but the phrase now applies to his roster.

"You come to the park every day and you still prepare to win every day, that's the bottom line,'' Girardi said. "You don't want guys to get hurt but it's part of the game, and you have to deal with it.''

Derek Jeter, hitting .266 after going 1-for-5, said there's no time for excuses.

"It's been unfortunate but injuries happen,'' Jeter said. "You hope you don't get a lot of them at the same time but you really can't feel sorry for yourself because the teams we're playing don't feel sorry for us.''

The Rays (29-11), looking more energetic in every way, certainly didn't, batting around twice and stealing six bases in increasing their AL East lead to four games over the Yankees, who looked sluggish and weary after back-to-back nights of drama against the Red Sox.

A.J. Burnett (4-2, 3.86) struggled for the second time in his last three outings, allowing six runs and nine hits. Wade Davis (4-3, 3.35) was solid for the rotation-rich Rays, allowing two runs and seven hits in 52/3 innings. The Yankees, who got four hits from Robinson Cano and Alex Rodriguez's 589th homer, trailed 10-2 going to the ninth before scoring four runs.

Still, the primary discussion afterward was about the wounded.

"It's tough,'' Posada said. "You want to be out there. You see the team losing, you see the team struggling, it's tough. It really is. I really can't tell you how frustrating it is.''

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