NEW YORK -- The Yankees were missing the back end of their bullpen for Saturday's matinee against the A's, with both closer Rafael Soriano and setup man David Robertson likely unavailable because of their workloads in recent days.
Soriano experienced a dead arm in Friday's 2-1 win, when he blew his fourth save, although manager Joe Girardi appeared unconcerned, pointing to Soriano's two saves in Wednesday's doubleheader as the reason for any soreness. Robertson pitched each of the past three days, earning the win in relief of Soriano on Friday.
Girardi said he was unsure of who he would use in a late-game situation and it likely depends on where Oakland is in its lineup.
"You try to use your head and you don't abandon your principles, but they are built up a lot more now than they are in the beginning of the season. That's why at times I will use a guy three days in a row here," Girardi said. "I still try to stay away from it, but we've been in a lot of close the games the last three weeks and I've had to do it at times. There are times when you just have to say a guy's not going to pitch that day, and today's one of those days."
Soriano has recorded a save in 42 of his 46 opportunities, with the most recent coming Wednesday, when he recorded a four-out save in the afternoon against the Blue Jays, then a nine-pitch save in the nightcap.
Girardi was unsure whether he would use Soriano that night, but the right-hander warmed up and said he felt strong, prompting Girardi to call on him. Soriano started throwing in the bullpen in the eighth inning of Thursday's 10-7 win, but that was his own doing, and Girardi turned to Robertson for the save instead.
Soriano said he felt normal September soreness in his right shoulder after allowing a pinch-hit homer to Brandon Moss to tie Friday's series opener against Oakland in the ninth, and both manager and closer do not appear concerned that the issue will linger.
"I really believe it was the twice in one day," Girardi said. "Sori is a guy that I think knows his body pretty well. He's closed before and knows what he can take, and communicates very well how he's feeling. I'm pretty sure that will go away."
Teixeira works out before Sunday departure
NEW YORK -- Mark Teixeira jogged on the field for the first time since aggravating his Grade 1 left calf strain on Sept. 8 prior to Saturday's matchup with the A's at Yankee Stadium. The first baseman ran lightly, fielded ground balls and took swings in advance of his Sunday departure for Tampa, Fla., where he will gradually increase his workload before taking part in instructional league games.
"We didn't really have a progression last time, it was, 'Get back as soon as possible,'" Teixeira said. "This time, we're doing a progression."
Teixeira missed 10 games after initially injuring his calf running the bases Aug. 27 against Toronto, and Saturday's game against the A's marked the 12th game Teixeira sat out since his one-game return in Baltimore.
He continues to refuse to put a timetable on his return, preferring to avoid the unwanted pressure of a set deadline to get back in the lineup. He reported no issues after jogging on the field for the first time, but still feels soreness at times while walking up or down a set of stairs.
Teixeira does not anticipate any issues swinging a bat or fielding ground balls, but is concerned about his ability to accelerate running the bases or rushing to tag first base after making a play in the field.
"The game in Baltimore I played more shallow because I didn't want to have to sprint to first base," he said. "I played shallow knowing that I wasn't going to be able to accelerate full-speed to get to first base. It's not just hitting, it's fielding, and I want to make sure if I need to get a big out to save an inning that I can do that."
Manager Joe Girardi started Andruw Jones for the 10th time this month despite the outfielder's persisting slump since the All-Star break. After hitting .244 (31-for-127) with 11 home runs and 22 RBIs in 49 games prior to the unofficial midway point in the season, Jones hit .137 (14-for-102) with two homers and 10 RBIs in 41 games since. Girardi would not say Jones is in danger of losing a spot on New York's postseason roster, insisting he is only concerned about making the postseason first.
The Yankees continue to delay activating outfielder Brett Gardner for pinch-hitting duties, and Girardi said he cannot "get into all the details" on why, although he said it is not because of injury concerns with Gardner.
Steven Miller is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.