MINNEAPOLIS -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi wasn't apologizing for his strategic stalling in the ninth inning of Wednesday's 3-2 victory over the Twins, even though it apparently irked Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire.

After Nick Swisher's solo home run gave the Yankees the lead in the ninth inning, New York needed time to get closer Mariano Rivera up for his second save situation of the day.

Girardi sent starter Andy Pettitte out to throw his warmup pitches, which he did more slowly than usual. When home-plate umpire Brian O'Nora tried to hurry things along, catcher Francisco Cervelli briefly pretended to have something in his eye before Girardi finally made the pitching change.

"That was kind of tired, to tell you the truth," Gardenhire said after the game. "You don't know normally get that long between innings to do all that, but we know what's going on there. That's a situation Major League Baseball needs to take care of when stuff like that happens.

"You don't have a guy ready in the bullpen -- if your starter goes out there, he should have to face a hitter. That's just the way it should be. If you don't get a guy up, that's the way it should be, unless the other team makes a change."

Pettitte had no intention of coming back into the game after eight innings and 94 pitches, and Girardi said that as long as Rivera got ready, Pettitte's night was over.

"It's within the rules," Girardi said. "I have that option to send a starter out there to get my closer ready. It's the second game, and I wasn't going to warm [Rivera] up unless we were going to use him. That's within the rules, and I played within the rules."

The Yankees have been criticized this year for slow play, notably by umpire Joe West, but Girardi thought that taking time to get Rivera loose should be acceptable.

"It's two minutes," Girardi said. "Managers throw over all the time to get the guys ready, or send the catchers out. ... It would be silly to get Mo up and say, 'Be ready,' and then not use him. It doesn't make sense. It's a different story if he didn't pitch three hours before, but whatever I did was within the grounds of what I'm allowed to do."

Rivera retired the side on three ground balls, and even Gardenhire seemed to believe that having Pettitte toss a few extra times couldn't be a pinpoint reason for the game's outcome.

"That's not what lost the game for us," Gardenhire said. "That's stuff that just gets old right there."

Posada may return sooner, not later

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Yankees might get Jorge Posada back behind the plate sooner than originally anticipated.

Manager Joe Girardi said that Posada is moving around better on his fractured right foot, and that he plans to meet with the catcher on Friday at Yankee Stadium to determine the next step in his rehabilitation.

"He is feeling better, and we're going to try to come up with a course of action," Girardi said. "I can't tell you exactly when he will start baseball activities, but I want to see him and how he's moving around."

Posada has not played since May 16, when he took a foul tip off his right foot in a loss to the Twins. Since the injury, he has been examined by team physician Christopher Ahmad in New York.

When Posada was placed on the disabled list, he said that he could be back in as little as two weeks. The Yankees' estimate was more conservative, targeting Posada's return after three or four weeks.

"He does feel better, but feeling better sitting around and feeling better actually doing a lot are different things," Girardi said. "I feel good sitting around."

Pinstripes 'comforting' to Gaudin

MINNEAPOLIS -- There was disappointment in Chad Gaudin's voice on March 25, when he emerged from manager Joe Girardi's office and immediately called his agent, shuffling some papers around while reporting the news that he'd been released by the Yankees.

After he hung up the phone, Gaudin prepared to leave George M. Steinbrenner Field and spoke optimistically about how he could help another club. Even he could never have imagined that he'd be back in a Yankees uniform almost two months later to the day, like it had all been a bad dream.

"I didn't know what to think," Gaudin said. "You can't ever figure it out. I didn't commit mentally to anything. The situations came, and this was the best one, for sure."

Gaudin landed with the Athletics and pitched in 12 games, faring 0-2 with an 8.83 ERA before being released.

Gaudin said that "six or seven" teams called with interest on Tuesday, the first day that the right-hander could speak to other clubs, but within a span of three hours Gaudin had already verbally committed to rejoin the Yankees.

Gaudin's No. 41 was reissued to him when the Yankees activated him before Wednesday's regularly scheduled game against the Twins, and he said that it was a "welcoming" and "comforting" feeling to walk through the doors of the visitors' clubhouse at Target Field and see the same familiar faces.

"When you're in that situation, there's no one special team that you think of," Gaudin said. "I know that I pitched well here. I didn't have a great spring, but I enjoyed it. I thought I left on pretty good terms. I thought if the need would be, I could be there."

Gaudin said that he had no hard feelings about his spring, believing that the Yankees gave him enough of an opportunity. His 8.68 Grapefruit League ERA in four appearances made him an odd man out, as the Yankees eventually decided to anoint Phil Hughes as their fifth starter.

"That was a tough moment in Spring Training," Girardi said. "But he's happy to be back and I'm happy to see him; happy to have him back."

Worth noting

Right-hander Dave Robertson had stitch marks on his back where Joe Mauer's line drive hit him in the sixth inning of Wednesday afternoon's 1-0 Yankees win. Robertson said that his belt took the brunt of the impact. ... The Yankees plan to activate outfielder Curtis Granderson, out with a left groin strain, from his Minor League rehabilitation assignment on Friday in New York against the Cleveland Indians.