Teixeira knocks 300th career homer
Slugger passes Bautista for first in MLB with No. 25
NEW YORK -- Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira passed Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista for the Major League lead with his 25th home run of the season in Thursday's 5-0 win over the Brewers, but it was another milestone that made this drive special.
Teixeira's leadoff homer to left field off Randy Wolf in the third inning was the 300th of his career, giving the Yankees a 3-0 lead.
The 300 home runs are the most by a switch-hitter through his first nine Major League seasons. Yankees icon Mickey Mantle is second with 280.
"It's not a big milestone," Teixeira said. "I'm not trying to downplay it, but it's not 500 or 600 or anything like that. For me, I just try to go up there and swing the bat hard and try to hit something."
Teixeira has done just that, hitting four home runs in his past five games.
Teixeira was able to retrieve the ball from the fan who caught it, promising the fan a trip to batting practice, along with a signed ball and bat.
"I have each one of 100, 200, 300," Teixeira said. "Those are always fun to keep in my office and break them out every now and then."
Hughes feels able to return to bigs now
NEW YORK -- Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes said on Thursday that he felt less fatigued after his third rehab start, adding that he feels ready to pitch in a Major League game.
"I guess you could say I could get up to 100 pitches, which is kind of the threshold," Hughes said when asked what's left to accomplish upon his return. "But if my next start would be here, I'd be able to go 100-plus. So, certainly, I guess they'd like to see a start with at least 100 pitches, but I guess that would be the only thing."
Hughes, who said he usually finds out his next course of action a few days after his rehab starts, threw 88 pitches and struck out eight over 6 1/3 innings on Wednesday for Double-A Trenton.
- 131 wins
- 121 wins
The right-hander will throw a bullpen session on Friday.
Manager Joe Girardi said it is possible Hughes could be done with rehab starts.
"That's something that we're going to have to talk about in the next couple of days," Girardi said. "We haven't had a chance to talk a lot. We're really encouraged with what he did. The determination that we have to make is, 'Do we give him one more or do you slot him in?' That's something we're going to have to make pretty quickly."
Girardi said the status of the current rotation and the Yankees' hot stretch -- they had won 14 of 18 entering Thursday's game against the Brewers -- would not play a factor in determining Hughes' return.
"It's just deciding if he needs one more start to build up his stamina, or do we feel that his stamina is good enough?" Girardi said. "Of course, a player is always going to say, 'I'm ready to go.' That's what players do. They want to get out there. That's a determination that we have to make."
Hughes said his right shoulder feels much more free since he went on the disabled list on April 19 with inflammation.
Hughes went 18-8 with a 4.19 ERA last season, making the All-Star Game.
Mitre pleased to be back in pinstripes
NEW YORK -- Sergio Mitre's first day back in pinstripes consisted of arriving in the Bronx from Milwaukee less than an hour before the Yankees' 5-0 win over the Brewers on Thursday and warming up in the bullpen during the eighth inning.
But the homecoming was a happy one for Mitre, who said he never wanted to leave the Yankees, the club that traded him to the Brewers during Spring Training for outfielder Chris Dickerson.
"Extremely," Mitre said when asked if he was surprised by Wednesday's trade. "Very, very surprised. Surprised, excited, happy. I never wanted to leave here in the first place. I loved it here. I went to a good place, but I'm happy where I am."
Mitre was 0-1 with a 3.27 ERA for the Brewers this season, striking out 14 and walking 10 over 33 innings.
On Wednesday night, Mitre was acquired by the Yankees for cash considerations after the Brewers had designated him for assignment, a move that surprised the veteran righty.
"That's the one thing that caught me off guard the most," Mitre said. "I had no idea that was the conversation I was going to have when I got called into the office. It's a business, I guess, but it's just a little bit tougher to swallow when there really isn't anything you can put your finger on. I don't know -- maybe I was missing something, but, [it's] in the past."
Mitre said he warmed up in the bullpen on Thursday because he had not played catch in a few days and had not pitched since June 22 against the Red Sox.
Mitre is not sure what his exact role will be out of manager Joe Girardi's bullpen.
"Starters have a role, and other than [setup man David Robertson] and [closer Mariano Rivera], everybody else is just mix and match, I guess -- that's what it looks like," Mitre said. "So whenever I'm called upon or anybody else is called upon, we just get outs, give us a chance to win."
The 30-year-old Mitre appeared in 39 games for the Yankees from 2009-10, starting 12 games. The right-hander was 3-6 with a 5.03 ERA, striking out 61 and walking 29 over 105 2/3 innings.
Mitre is 13-30 with a 5.13 ERA over eight Major League seasons.
Colon's return gives Yanks good problem
NEW YORK -- Yankees right-hander Bartolo Colon reported no problems after tossing a bullpen session on Thursday, and he is now expected to start on Saturday against the Mets at Citi Field.
"I feel good -- I'm ready to come back and help the team," Colon said in a statement provided by the team. "My bullpen [session] went well. I'm happy to be back with everyone. I'm looking forward to Saturday."
Colon, 38, has been on the disabled list since June 12 with a strained left hamstring. He will take the rotation slot previously occupied by right-hander Brian Gordon, who was 0-1 with a no-decision in his two fill-in starts.
With Colon and right-hander Phil Hughes on the verge of returning to the rotation, the Yankees will have six pitchers still looking to fill five slots -- CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett are locks, with Freddy Garcia and Ivan Nova also in line.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that no final decisions have been made, but instead of shuttling someone to the bullpen, it is possible the club could entertain a six-man rotation -- something currently being used by both the Royals and White Sox.
"It's something that we're going to think about as well," Girardi said. "Those are things that we have to decide. You do have five guys throwing the ball pretty well. It's a tough decision on how we do it."
The drawback of a six-man rotation is extra rest for pitchers who don't like working under those conditions, such as Sabathia and Burnett. But others, like Garcia, could benefit from an extra day here and there.
Girardi said that there are several questions the Yankees need to discuss.
"Do we feel a guy needs an extra day off? Do you skip a guy just to give them a little rest?" Girardi said. "There are just some different things that you can do to be creative with a rotation if you do a six-man [staff].
"Do, all of a sudden, you need one guy in the bullpen because your bullpen was fried the day before? Those are all things that you have to consider if you do that."
Clear mind key to Posada's revival
NEW YORK -- Jorge Posada may not be too pleased when Thursday melts into Friday, because June has been plenty kind to the Yankees' designated hitter.
After a rocky beginning that prompted questions of whether the 39-year-old had anything left in the tank, Posada has answered in the affirmative, having hit .391 in June entering play on Thursday, with homers in three of his last seven games.
"I feel good at the plate," Posada said. "My approach is better, I'm getting good pitches to hit. My thought process is a little better, and they're falling for me."
Posada is reluctant to discuss the events of May 14, when he asked out of the starting lineup after manager Joe Girardi dropped him to ninth in the order, but it has been a turning point for his season.
Struggling to find a routine as a full-time DH to that moment, Posada has hit .330 (30-for-91) with three homers and 12 RBIs since that game against the Red Sox.
Posada has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 starts and even seems to have solved that issue of hitting against left-handed pitching, having logged five hits in 14 at-bats after starting the year 0-for-27 against southpaws.
The secret may be as simple as a clearer head, it seems.
"To tell you the truth," Posada said, "my thinking and thought process is just a little better."
Yankees right-handed reliever Dave Robertson and his wife, Erin, hosted a postgame fundraiser on Thursday at Yankee Stadium's Hard Rock Cafe to benefit "High Socks for Hope," the Robertsons' charity to support tornado relief efforts in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher also attended.
Yankees right-hander Brian Gordon has donated the glove he used during his June 16 start against the Rangers to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. It is believed to be the first all-synthetic (no leather) glove to be used in a Major League game.
Curtis Granderson received a much-deserved off-day on Thursday after appearing in all 78 of the Yankees' previous games and starting 77 of them. Manager Joe Girardi said he wanted to rest Granderson and Alex Rodriguez, noting that the team will play three games without the designated hitter this weekend against the Mets at Citi Field.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @bryanhoch. Matt Fortuna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.