Aceves exits with lower back stiffness
Right-hander feels injury is same he suffered in spring
BOSTON -- The banged and bruised Yankees suffered yet another injury during Saturday's 14-3 victory vs. the Red Sox, as right-hander Alfredo Aceves stumbled off the mound after delivering a pitch and was forced to leave the game with lower back soreness.
Aceves was working in the sixth inning to Red Sox pinch-hitter Jeremy Hermida when he snapped off a curveball and landed unsteadily at the front of the mound, hobbling off toward the first-base line.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi and assistant trainer Steve Donohue dashed to the mound to attend to Aceves, who had entered the game in the fifth inning when starter CC Sabathia did not return after a rain delay of one hour and 14 minutes.
"I think we're going to take two or three days just to make sure it's not getting worse," said Aceves, who believed it was the same issue that cost him time this spring. "I'd prefer to be safe. As soon as I threw the ball, I felt it. "
Left-hander Boone Logan was summoned from the bullpen to replace Aceves, a long reliever who is now 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA in 10 appearances after earning the victory on Saturday.
Earlier Saturday, the Yankees placed designated hitter Nick Johnson on the 15-day disabled list, joining outfielder Curtis Granderson and right-hander Chan Ho Park.
Three of the Yankees' "Core Four" -- Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera -- have also been recently sidelined by injuries, as well as second baseman Robinson Cano, who was hit in the left knee by a Josh Beckett fastball on Friday but was healthy enough to serve as New York's DH on Saturday.
Sore wrist lands Johnson on disabled list
BOSTON -- While the Yankees prepared to take the field against the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Saturday, Nick Johnson was being stuffed into an MRI tube back in New York for a closer look at his sore right wrist.
The designated hitter was placed on the 15-day disabled list, with infielder Kevin Russo summoned from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that Johnson is expected to miss several weeks with an inflamed tendon in his right wrist.
"We know it's going to be at least 15 days, and probably a little bit more than that," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "As far as how long, we have to see how the wrist responds."
The wrist is the same one that required surgery in 2008 for a torn tendon sheath, limiting Johnson to just 38 games for the Nationals, but it was unclear if Johnson had injured the same tendon.
After Friday's game, Johnson said that he lost strength in the wrist while taking a first-inning swing. He stayed in for one more at-bat before reporting the injury. This is the 10th DL assignment of Johnson's career.
Russo was assigned uniform No. 27 and made his Major League debut on Saturday, going 0-for-1 after entering as a defensive replacement in New York's 14-3 win.
Russo offers versatility, having played second base, third base, shortstop and center field this year at Triple-A. The Yankees certainly needed the help: At one point on Friday, Girardi turned to pitcher Javier Vazquez and asked if he could serve as an emergency infielder.
"I'm excited to be here," Russo said. "It's definitely an exciting time."
Russo said that the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre clubhouse was well aware of the Yankees' recent rash of injury concerns. In addition to Johnson, the Yankees are also playing without center fielder Curtis Granderson, who strained his left groin during the club's recent homestand.
"We watch the games, but we're not thinking about, 'Am I going to be the next guy?'" Russo said. "If you do that, then you're going to be disappointed."
Despite sore knee, Cano returns to lineup
BOSTON -- Robinson Cano said that his left knee felt "a little bit sore" and swollen after its meeting with a 92-mph fastball from Josh Beckett, but the setback wasn't enough to keep him out of the Yankees' lineup.
The Yankees' leading hitter was not in the original lineup posted Saturday at Fenway Park, but a pregame batting practice session was enough to convince New York manager Joe Girardi to slot him in as the designated hitter.
Girardi had urged reporters to "keep [the lineup] in pencil" during his pregame media availability. Cano ranks third among active players with a .347 (69-for-199) batting average in 47 games at Fenway Park entering play Saturday.
Cano went 1-for-5 with two runs scored in the Yankees' 14-3 victory vs. the Red Sox.
Posada gets another day to rest calf
BOSTON -- Jorge Posada tried pleading his case and getting into the Yankees' lineup on Saturday, but the catcher will have at least one more day to rest his strained right calf.
"It didn't work out," said Posada, who called himself "a player" for Saturday's game.
The wet field at Fenway Park was a concern for manager Joe Girardi, who plans to have Posada serve as the designated hitter on Sunday instead.
"My plan all along has kind of been on [Sunday]," Girardi said. "He had a Grade 1 strain. Most guys don't come back before a week. That's just the bottom line.
"He plays a demanding position and I know he says he feels good, but we were talking with [assistant athletic trainer] Steve Donohue and our medical staff and they just feel like if we put him out there today, we're rushing it."
Swisher's homer had special message
BOSTON -- Nick Swisher was looking for a fastball when he dug in against Josh Beckett in the fourth inning on Friday, and when he connected with a hanging breaking ball and sent it a long way, he couldn't help but smile.
There was a back story to Swisher's three-run homer off the Red Sox ace, which rattled into the center-field camera stand. Earlier Friday, Swisher had visited with a 10-year-old boy at the Children's Hospital Boston who had asked him to hit one out.
"He was probably the only Yankees fan in that hospital," Swisher said. "He told me that if I hit a home run for him [Friday], that'd be pretty cool. I got lucky and ended up running into one. I hope he was watching."
Swisher could not disclose the child's name or illness, but the New York right fielder said he spent an hour with the boy and his family, all of whom wore Yankees T-shirts during the visit.
"We played 'Sorry!' -- me vs. him," Swisher said. "He was green and I was the blue guy. He had all four of his dudes in there before I could even get two in, every time.
"He'd look at me and just smile, giving me a thumbs-up. The family was great. It was such an honor for me, because you really appreciate what we have. When you can walk into a room and put a smile on a little kid's face, why wouldn't you do that?"
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.