NEW YORK -- Ichiro Suzuki was out of the starting lineup for the Yankees' series finale against the Mets in the Bronx on Thursday night. The outfielder went 2-for-4 in Wednesday night's 9-4 loss and was 4-for-11 in the first three games of the Subway Series.
The outfielder isn't injured and is in the midst of a five-game hitting streak; Yankees manager Joe Girardi is simply taking extra caution with the 39-year-old outfielder. Brennan Boesch started in right field for the second time in as many nights.
"He's been getting some hits for us, but it's just more preventative in the sense, making sure everyone stays strong here," Girardi said of Ichiro. "Boesch swung the bat well [Wednesday] night. But I worry about -- these guys are 38 and 39, some of these guys -- running them out there every day."
Ichiro's night of rest gave Boesch a chance to build on his strong effort at the plate on Wednesday, his first game back in the Majors since he was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on May 14. The outfielder went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs in Wednesday's game.
"I'm also thinking long term, too," Girardi said. "[We're playing] 17 days in a row here. It's getting hot, and you have to make sure. Sometimes you can think of Ich as a young guy, but he's one of those guys with some age on him, too."
Yanks lock in Pettitte's return for Monday
NEW YORK -- Andy Pettitte has been forced to sit and watch his teammates play without him for the past two weeks. On Monday, the veteran left-hander's wait to get back on the mound will be over.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced on Thursday that Pettitte will return from the disabled list and take the mound on Monday against the Indians.
"I felt pretty confident it would just be the two weeks and that I would feel good coming back," Pettitte said. "I'm feeling good, and I'm looking forward to getting back out there."
Pettitte was placed on the DL after leaving his May 16 start against the Mariners with a tight left trapezius muscle. He posted a 4-3 record with a 3.83 ERA and 39 strikeouts in eight starts before the injury.
"I think they were being pretty cautious with me as far as the DL, and it was probably good," Pettitte said. "I was pretty locked up back there."
The injury has forced the 40-year-old lefty to make some adjustments to his routine, and he said that for the time being, he expects to cut down the amount of bullpen sessions he throws between starts from two to one.
Pettitte's return could be the third big addition for the Yankees in the coming days, as general manager Brian Cashman said earlier this week that first baseman Mark Teixeira and third baseman Kevin Youkilis could come off the DL before Friday's series opener against the Red Sox.
Pettitte is 9-8 with a 4.02 ERA in 22 career starts against the Indians.
"I just want to take my turn, get out there and do this grind with the guys," Pettitte said. "That's what I came back for."
Yankees to 'sign' and honor Matsui on July 28
NEW YORK -- Godzilla is coming back to the Bronx.
The Yankees announced on Thursday that they will celebrate the career of former outfielder Hideki Matsui in a ceremony before their July 28 game against the Rays, honoring No. 55 on what was originally scheduled to be the 55th home game of the season.
Matsui will sign a one-day contract with the Yankees on that day and will officially announce his retirement from baseball as a member of the Yankees. The first 18,000 fans in attendance will receive bobbleheads showing Matsui holding his 2009 World Series MVP trophy.
"I think it's extremely deserving," manager Joe Girardi said. "When you talk about Hideki Matsui, I think about a great player, great teammate. He's someone who was prepared to play every day and gave everything he's got."
The former Yomiuri Giants star played seven seasons for the Yankees from 2003-09, batting .292 with 140 home runs and 597 RBIs during that span. Matsui made the All-Star team in 2003 and '04, and his streak of 518 straight games played remains the longest run to start a career in Major League history.
Matsui played his last game for the Yankees on Nov. 4, 2009, hitting a home run and driving in a World Series record-tying six runs in a Game 6 victory over the Phillies, sealing New York's championship. He was a unanimous pick for Series MVP.
Matsui played three more years after leaving the Yankees following the 2009 season, playing one season each with the Angels and the A's before playing 34 games for the Rays last year. He'll finish his career with a .282 batting average, 175 home runs and 760 RBIs.
"He always found a way to get big hits for the New York Yankees," Girardi said. "You can go back to the World Series and how big he was there. You'll hear every player, to a man, say what a great teammate he was, and I think everyone will look forward to that day."
Josh Vitale and David Wilson are associate reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.