ST. PETERSBURG -- An MRI examination on Mark Teixeira's sore left wrist offered the Yankees slugger peace of mind on Monday, as the results assured him that his injury is nothing more than inflammation.

The first baseman was examined by team physician Dr. Allen Miller in Tampa, Fla., and he will sit out his third consecutive contest on Monday. But he expects to play on Tuesday in Game 2 of a three-game series with the Rays.

"It feels a lot better today. We've got on some stronger anti-inflammatories, and I'm hoping to play tomorrow," Teixeira said. "They even said it's better than they expected. It just looks really good.

"I wasn't thinking it was anything crazy, because I played through it for a couple of days. I would be very disappointed if I wasn't playing [Tuesday]."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he did not intend to play Teixeira on Monday anyway, since the Rays are starting left-hander Scott Kazmir and the inflammation bothers the first baseman when he bats right-handed.

"It seemed that the right-handed swing bothered him a little bit more," Girardi said. "That was the one that he did in [batting practice] that really kind of stopped him. I don't want to lose him for a long period of time, so hopefully, it will all be gone tomorrow."

Teixeira believes he injured the wrist diving for a ball on Wednesday in Baltimore. He was a game-time scratch from New York's lineup on Saturday and also did not play on Sunday.

"Anytime you have inflammation, it's one of those things that the more you test it and try to fight through it, it's not going to go away," Teixeira said. "We're just taking it very smart."

Teixeira, who turned 29 on Saturday, is in the first year of an eight-year, $180 million contract with New York. In four games, he is batting .250 (4-for-16) with one home run and six RBIs.