Posada day-to-day after plunking
Yankees catcher hit in right knee during second inning
BALTIMORE -- Yankees catcher Jorge Posada left Wednesday's 8-3 win over the Orioles in the second inning after being hit in the right knee with a pitch.
Posada was diagnosed with a contusion, and while no further tests were immediately scheduled, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he did not expect Posada to be available to play on Thursday.
"I'll just take it day by day and see how it feels," Posada said.
Posada was batting in the top half of the frame against Baltimore right-hander Jeremy Guthrie when he was drilled with the pitch.
Posada stayed in the game after being inspected at first base by assistant athletic trainer Steve Donohue. He scored on Nick Swisher's two-run triple, but was replaced by backup catcher Francisco Cervelli between innings.
"When I scored, I hit third base and going home I really couldn't feel the leg," Posada said. "It was kind of numb."
Girardi expressed frustration with Guthrie, who also plunked Mark Teixeira on the right elbow in a March 29 Spring Training game.
"I really don't think you're trying to lead off an inning by hitting a guy," Girardi said. "I don't think he's doing it on purpose, but he hits a lot of people. It's frustrating for us.
"We know he's going to pitch inside and I don't have a problem with pitching inside. But what do you expect, me to be happy our guys are getting plunked? I'm frustrated by it. I wish he had better command."
Guthrie said after the game: "I'm apologetic for the fact that if he were to miss some time. That would be a shame that it was a pitch that got away from me that had that result."
Posada said he would treat the knee with ice to reduce the swelling, and was not pointing fingers at Guthrie for the plunking.
"When you get hit, you always get mad," Posada said. "I don't think he was trying to do anything. It looked like the ball got away from him."
Girardi said that he would speak to general manager Brian Cashman about the possibility of calling up a catcher -- perhaps Jesus Montero or Chad Moeller -- from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in time for Thursday's game.
"We'll have to see how [Posada] is when he gets here," Girardi said.
Granderson ends hitless string
BALTIMORE -- It was a little surprising for Curtis Granderson to hear that his last hit for the Yankees had come more than a week ago, a sixth-inning single to center field off the A's Craig Breslow in Oakland.
In the time that has passed, the Yankees have gone coast-to-coast. Phil Hughes has enjoyed no-hit stuff and battled some of his worst stuff, Alex Rodriguez set foot on Dallas Braden's mound and President Barack Obama opened the White House gates for the 2009 team.
And still Granderson keeps plugging away, knowing that his luck can't help but change. Granderson entered play Wednesday hitless in his last 17 at-bats, the second-longest hitless stretch of his career, behind a 21 at-bat drought in 2006. He ended the string with a single in the second inning.
"For the most part, it's a couple of games here where I haven't been able to get on base the way I've wanted to," Granderson said. "You just kind of go with it and realize sometimes you're going to hit the ball hard and it's going to go right at people. Things will turn themselves around."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Granderson has been working with hitting coach Kevin Long on not getting the bat head out too far in front.
"Kevin has worked very hard on him backing the ball up a little bit," Girardi said. "You have a 1-for-18 early in the season and it really affects your numbers dramatically. If you do that in the middle of the season, it's not going to change it that much. Things early on can either look a lot better than they really are or a lot worse."
While Granderson was 1-for-20 on the road trip going into Wednesday, he did have four walks and two runs scored, so he has been finding ways to contribute at least a little. Granderson said his troubles stemmed from "a little mixture" of balls hit at people, bad at-bats and swinging at bad pitches.
"It could be deception, late movement or a timing issue from time to time," Granderson said. "You go through guys disrupting your rhythm. All those different things go into it. It's nothing I'm going to beat myself over the head about."
Johnson returns to Yankees' lineup
BALTIMORE -- Yankees designated hitter Nick Johnson was back in the lineup on Wednesday at Camden Yards, having missed three consecutive starts with lower back stiffness.
Johnson pinch-hit in the ninth inning of Tuesday's 5-4 loss to the Orioles and said that his back felt playable after treatment.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he thought about dropping Johnson -- hitting just .135 -- in the order and keeping Brett Gardner in the two-hole, but ultimately returned to his Opening Day lineup.
"It was something that we talked about," Girardi said. "Nick is a proven hitter. I think it's important that you stick with your guys. You know that he's going to come around. You try to go with a set lineup."
Johnson entered play Wednesday with seven hits in 52 at-bats this year, with two doubles and a home run, plus 19 walks and two hit-by-pitches.
"His history tells you that he's going to come out of it," Girardi said. "His on-base percentage is still [.384], and that's what you want. We believe that Nick is going to come out of it. It's a good spot for him to hit."
Yankees' Hughes trusting his stuff
BALTIMORE -- When Phil Hughes hit every spot he wanted in the bullpen on Tuesday, the Yankees right-hander had a feeling he was going to have to scrape by in his start against the Orioles.
These things tend to go in opposite ways for Hughes, who felt terrible warming up before his April 21 start against the A's and wound up carrying a no-hitter into the eighth inning. But by grinding out a solid start against Baltimore, Hughes might have picked up a tip for the future.
"I've just got to trust my stuff a little bit more," Hughes said. "I looked up there after 5 2/3 [innings] and I probably felt the worst that I've felt in a long time. It's a run on two hits. I've got to know my stuff is good enough and just attack the strike zone, and not nibble as much as I was early on."
Hughes is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA through his first three starts after manager Joe Girardi lauded his changeup as a main reason why he had outpitched Joba Chamberlain, Alfredo Aceves, Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre in a five-headed spring competition to serve as the fifth starter.
Yet Hughes did not use his changeup in the no-hit bid in Oakland, reasoning that his fastball, cutter and curve were more than enough. Nor did he use it Tuesday in Baltimore, keeping it in his back pocket as he tried to scrape by.
"I wasn't throwing strikes with my best three pitches, so I definitely wasn't going to that," Hughes said. "It seemed like I was either 2-0 or 2-1 to pretty much everybody. I didn't have confidence to try and mess around with it. I was just trying to grind my way out."
RHP Chan Ho Park had his right hamstring examined with an MRI on Wednesday in Tampa, Fla., which revealed the same low-grade strain. "He's not progressing the way we thought he would," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. ... C Jorge Posada will have a day off on either Thursday in Baltimore or Friday in New York against the White Sox. ... Girardi said Alfredo Aceves would not be available Wednesday after throwing two innings and 31 pitches on Tuesday. ... Seven Double-A Trenton Thunder players participated Wednesday in a Habitat for Humanity home build in East Trenton, N.J. RHP Grant Duff, OF Austin Krum, RHP D.J. Mitchell, RHP David Phelps, RHP Ryan Pope, IF Justin Snyder and RHP Eric Wordekemper helped install lattice on the back porch and worked on the ceiling of the front porch.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.