Notes: Cabrera back in lineup
Center fielder bats sixth, as Abreu remains in No. 3 spot
ST. PETERSBURG -- Melky Cabrera may have been hurting on Saturday, but Yankees manager Joe Torre knew his center fielder wouldn't be out of action for long.
"I actually saw him creeping up [the dugout stairs] about the fifth inning," Torre said Saturday of Cabrera, who entered as a defensive replacement during the final inning of New York's 6-5 win over Tampa Bay. "He was a little on the pale side, but he was given the green light."
So Cabrera was placed in the six-hole to start Sunday, while Bobby Abreu maintained his stronghold on the No. 3 spot in the order. Cabrera's spot in the lineup isn't ideal for him, Torre commented, but the way Abreu's hitting after the break makes it difficult to put him anywhere other than third.
"When he hits third, I think it makes it better for him, because he knows for sure they're going to pitch to him," Torre said of Abreu. "He certainly knows the strike zone just about as good, or better, than anyone in the league when it comes to taking pitches and getting on base.
"But, when you're hitting in front of Alex [Rodriguez], you know they're going to pitch to you."
Walking wounded: There's finally a bit of good news for Jason Giambi, who's already missed more than six weeks with a bone spur and partial tear of the arch in his left foot. Torre said Giambi would probably report to the team's Minor League complex in Tampa, Fla., in the next few days, to start workouts.
Torre warned, though, that because of the nature of the injury, rehab may be extensive. Maybe even like "starting over," he said.
"He hasn't been competitive for a while," Torre said. "Because of that foot, he couldn't really do anything."
No timetable has been set for Doug Mientkiewicz, although he's inching closer to his projected August return. Mientkiewicz has not seen action since a June 2 violent collision at first base that left him with a concussion, a cervical sprain and a fractured right wrist.
The first baseman has a doctor's appointment on Thursday that might clear him for limited activity.
More angry words: Former Yankee Kenny Lofton echoed Gary Sheffield's earlier statements that the Yankees' organization, particularly Torre, treated black and white players differently.
"All I can say is, Sheffield knows what he's talking about," Lofton told the Associated Press on Saturday. "That's all I'm going to say."
Torre chose to remain out of the conversation.
"I don't feel I need to respond to anything," Torre said. "I feel comfortable with who I am."
Quick hits: Torre stopped by Legends Field to have lunch with owner George Steinbrenner. Torre said his future was not discussed, but The Boss did have some helpful advice for his Yankees. "He said we have to start winning," Torre said smiling. ... All seven of the Yankees' games against the Rays this season have been decided by four runs or less, with four games being decided by two runs or less. ... New York has gone deep 10 times during the last four games, including seven home runs against the Rays this series alone. ... Abreu's five-RBI night Saturday was his best since a career-high seven RBIs on Sept. 12, 2006 -- also at Tampa Bay. He entered Sunday hitting .545 (6-for-11) during the series, with two doubles, two homers and eight RBIs. Abreu's collected hits in nine straight games.
Up next: The Bombers will be at Yankee Stadium for the next eight games beginning Monday, when they open a four-game series against the Blue Jays before meeting the Rays for four more games. Left-hander Kei Igawa (2-2, 7.14 ERA) will get the ball for New York in the opener against the Jays, and he'll face off against Toronto righty Josh Towers (4-5, 5.07). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.
Dawn Klemish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.