Asked if he would have the switch-hitting first baseman tonight, Girardi said, “I hope so. It’s my guess that not doing much [Tuesday night] will help him tremendously.’’
Girardi originally had Teixeira hitting fifth and playing first base versus Twins lefty Francisco Liriano, against whom Teixeira was batting .150 (3-for-20) with 10 strikeouts.
With Teixeira ill, Girardi juggled his lineup. Derek Jeter stayed atop the order but shifted from short to DH. Nick Swisher, who was going to DH, hit second as the first baseman.
Robinson Cano and Alex Rodriguez remained hitting third and fourth but Andruw Jones batted fifth and played right field. He originally was slated to hit seventh. Curtis Granderson was sixth, shortstop Eduardo Nunez seventh, Brett Gardner eighth and Chris Stewart ninth.
Girardi’s original thinking was that Swisher could be a candidate to play in all 13 games, a stretch that started last Friday and ends next Wednesday.
The manager said with lefties on the horizon that he will use Jeter and Rodriguez in the DH spot.
As for catcher Russell Martin, he started nine of the 10 games and appeared in the one game in which he wasn’t in the starting lineup. Backup catcher Stewart delivered two hits and a career-high three RBIs in the 8-3 win.
Gardner started for the second time against a lefty and went 2-for-2, scored twice, drove in a run and stole a base.
“We looked at his at-bats [against Liriano] and they were good at-bats, productive,’’ Girardi said of Gardner, who was 5-for-12 (.417) with a .462 on-base percentage against Liriano.
The winner last night, CC Sabathia, is 9-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his past 10 starts against the Twins, counting the postseason.
Michael Pineda could be close to progressing past throwing bullpen sessions.
“He is going to make one more bullpen and we will make a decision,’’ Girardi said of the right-hander who started the season on the disabled list with tendinitis in the back of the right shoulder. “Our hope is after the next bullpen he can get into a game, but we will have to see.’’
How many minor league starts Pineda makes is questionable. It’s not like he is starting from scratch, but it will be three weeks Friday since he worked in a game.
Andy Pettitte is scheduled to start for Single-A Tampa on Friday night. It will be the veteran left-hander’s third minor league outing and take him to the halfway mark of being ready to return to the big leagues.
Plate umpire Greg Gibson ejected Twins outfielder Denard Span and manager Ron Gardenhire from the game in the third inning and didn’t give a reason, although it was obviously over a called strike the leadoff hitter didn’t like.
“That’s between the [commissioner’s] office and the umpires,” Gibson said. “All that will go into a report that we send to the commissioner’s office. It’s something we don’t get into. That’s just policy. We’ll explain rules interpretation, but as far as an incident on the field, that’s for the office.’’
Gibson also called balks on Liriano and Sabathia.
Hiroki Kuroda’s gem in the home opener last Friday isn’t something he is bathing in. When Wednesday night’s starter was asked if the scoreless eight innings against the Angels in his Yankee Stadium debut made him feel more comfortable, the right-hander said the focus is on winning another game.
“It’s only one game and a win is a win but I try to do as much as possible to help the team win,’’ said Kuroda, who was familiar with the Angels hitters but has faced just two Twins — Ryan Doumit and Josh Willingham.
With Fenway Park celebrating its 100th anniversary and the Yankees in Boston this weekend during the celebration, Girardi was asked what his most memorable moments about New England’s living room were.
“The moment that comes into my mind has nothing to do with the Yankees and the Red Sox. It’s Carlton Fisk’s home run (in the 1975 World Series),’’ Girardi said. “That’s my most vivid memory and after that it’s Bucky Dent’s homer (in 1978).’’
David Phelps will be available out of the bullpen after resting since throwing 5¹/ innings of relief Saturday.
Though Phelps has been a starter in the minor leagues, he has been effective in three relief outings.
“He has the ability to be a starter because he is a four-pitch guy and the ability to get right-handers and left-handers out,’’ Girardi said.
Joe Girardi, Mark Teixeira, Teixeira, Twins lefty Francisco Liriano, Derek Jeter, Nick Swisher, DH, Alex Rodriguez, Girardi, Curtis Granderson, Greg Gibson, Brett Gardner, Eduardo Nunez, Chris Stewart