Teixeira returns for first-place showdown
Yankees' first baseman 'ready to go' in opener with Rays
NEW YORK -- First baseman Mark Teixeira returned to the starting lineup on Monday against the Rays after not starting the Yankees' last two games in Baltimore.
Teixeira has been nursing both a bone bruise of his right thumb and a broken right pinkie toe, each suffered in the final week of August.
"He said yesterday, 'I'm ready to go,'" said manager Joe Girardi, who didn't even need to confirm with Teixeira at the ballpark on Monday before slotting him in the No. 3 spot in the order.
Teixeira's production has dipped a bit in concert with the injuries. He entered Monday batting only .211 in September without a home run. Girardi and the Yankees took advantage of their final series against a sub-.500 team to give Teixeira a chance to rest before the final 13 games of the regular season.
The slugger did, however, appear as a pinch-hitter during Sunday's 4-3 loss in 11 innings, earning an intentional walk and then playing the field in the bottom of the 11th.
Jeter ties Mantle on Yanks' runs list
NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter tied Mickey Mantle for third place on the Yankees' all-time list of runs scored in Monday's game against the Rays, touching home plate for the 1,677th time.
Jeter scored a pair of runs in the game, coming in on Nick Swisher's bases-loaded walk in the fifth inning off Matt Garza and on Curtis Granderson's three-run homer off Grant Balfour in the sixth.
Only Babe Ruth (1,959) and Lou Gehrig (1,888) have scored more runs than Jeter in franchise history.
Knee improved, Swisher back in outfield
NEW YORK -- As the Yankees returned to the Bronx for their final homestand of the regular season, Nick Swisher was back in right field for the first time since Sept. 11 in Texas.
"It's time to go -- there are two weeks left in the season," Swisher said. "I'm ready to play now."
Swisher has been hindered by stiffness in his left knee since he hit it with a foul ball in Toronto on Aug. 24. In the nearly four weeks since, Swisher has missed six games entirely, appeared only as a pinch-hitter in three others and was pulled after one at-bat in one more. After not starting for four straight games, he was the designated hitter for the final two contests in Baltimore over the weekend.
Swisher, though, is happy he and the team have taken a cautious approach with his knee.
"I'm glad we did exactly what we did because I feel so much better," Swisher said. "That's a good thing to have this late in the season. For me, it's tough not being in there, but then again, would you rather be out there at 90-100 percent or 40-50? We made that decision, and I thought it was the right one. Now we've got ourselves in a good spot."
The Yankees' walk-off loss to the Orioles on Sunday was their sixth of the season -- two more than they experienced in 2009. Four of the walk-offs came on their just-completed nine-game road trip -- their most walk-off losses in a single road trip since May 1970. ... The Yankees entered Monday having made only four errors in September, and they made just one on the road trip. ... Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano are on pace to become the first pair of middle infielders from the same team to each lead the league in fielding percentage since Omar Vizquel and Roberto Alomar achieved the feat for the 2001 Indians. ... Brett Gardner leads the league with 4.62 pitches per at-bat. ... The Yankees are 9-0-2 in four-game series at the new Yankee Stadium.
Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.