Gardner rejoins club after acid reflux issue
Outfielder undergoes tests at hospital, ready to go Sunday
NEW YORK -- Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner was out of the lineup Saturday as he dealt with an acid reflux problem that had him in the hospital.
Manager Joe Girardi explained that Gardner has a condition that occasionally flares up as it did Friday night, when a pork chop that the outfielder ate "kind of got lodged, and it never went away." Girardi downplayed the seriousness of the problem, saying it's something Gardner has dealt with in the past.
"He'll be fine. This is something that he's experienced for probably 14-15 years," Girardi said. "For whatever reason [Friday] night, it didn't go down like it usually does. It happens from time to time, he says."
Gardner said the last time he experienced something like this was about a year ago, and that he would be ready to play Sunday.
"It's usually not a serious problem like that, but I'm good to go," Gardner said.
Girardi said Gardner played through the problem Friday night, when he went 2-for-4 with a double and a two-run single. Gardner was back in the dugout for the team's 7-4 loss to the Royals, but Girardi didn't want to use him since some of the tests he underwent at the hospital involved anesthesia.
Colin Curtis started in Gardner's place in left field and went 0-for-3.
Pettitte feeling good after game of catch
NEW YORK -- Yankees lefty Andy Pettitte played his second game of catch in as many days in his attempt to maintain his arm strength while he is on the disabled list with a strained left groin.
Pettitte tossed the ball with CC Sabathia from about 60 feet for five minutes -- long enough for roughly 40 throws. Pettitte said he feels great and he hopes to return ahead of the prescribed four to five weeks.
"I feel good. I'm not having any problems at all," said Pettitte, who suffered the injury in the third inning of Sunday's win over the Rays. "[The four-to-five week diagnosis] doesn't seem realistic at all to me right now, but I haven't been on a mound or strided out."
Pettitte will fly down to Tampa, Fla., on Monday to continue his rehab work and be back with the team when they arrive for a series with the Rays on Friday. Pettitte is eager to start long-tossing as soon as possible so that he doesn't lose much of his arm strength during his DL stint.
"If I can start long-tossing in the next couple days, I don't feel like I'll lose much arm strength at all," Pettitte said.
Manager Joe Girardi isn't quite as optimistic about Pettitte just yet, and he wants to be cautious with his 38-year-old All-Star.
"It's one thing to walk around; it's another thing to have to get off the mound and push. I'm very happy with the progress he's making," Girardi said. "I'll feel a lot better once he starts throwing off a mound and says he feels good.
"If it's less [than four weeks], that's great for us. But whatever it takes, when he comes back, I don't want this to be a reccuring thing."
Pettitte is 11-2 with a 2.88 ERA this season.
Swisher expects to rejoin lineup Sunday
NEW YORK -- For the second consecutive game, outfielder Nick Swisher was out of the Yankees' lineup due to a sore left Achilles tendon.
Although Swisher's ailing Achilles was still heavily taped when he entered the clubhouse Saturday, the outfielder said the pain has gradually subsided with the extra rest. But the progress wasn't enough to convince manager Joe Girardi to reinsert him into the lineup.
"I'm going to give him another day and I'll reevaluate him [Sunday]," Girardi said. "He told me he felt a lot better than he did [Friday], so that's a good sign. And with the quick turnaround, I just said, 'You know what, I'm just going to give you another day and we'll get you back in there [Sunday]."
But Swisher didn't have to wait that long. In the bottom of the eighth inning Saturday, Girardi opted to pinch-hit Swisher in favor of Marcus Thames, who started the afternoon in right field, to provide the Yankees with an offensive boost.
Swisher launched a shot to left field, but the Royals' Rick Ankiel made a diving catch to rob him of a hit. Despite registering the out, Swisher felt encouraged by his at-bat and said he expects to play in Sunday afternoon's series finale.
"It felt fine," Swisher said. "Running was a little different, but that's OK. I got a lot of treatment [Friday], got a lot today, and I'll be ready for [Sunday]."
With Mitre starting, Albaladejo to Triple-A
NEW YORK -- With Sergio Mitre making his first start off the disabled list on Saturday, the Yankees decided to option reliever Jonathan Albaladejo to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
But manager Joe Girardi came away impressed with the reliever's recent performance. In Friday's 7-1 victory over the Royals, Albaladejo pitched a scoreless inning, fanning two batters in the process.
"He pitched very well [Friday] night, and pitched pretty well in his other outing too," Girardi said. "Alby's had a tremendous year, but we felt that we needed distance with Serg. But he's a guy we can very well count on."
That didn't make the demotion any better for Albaladejo. After hearing the news, the 27-year-old was visibly disappointed as he cleaned out his locker and packed his belongings before Saturday's game.
"I have said on a number of occasions, it's my least favorite part of the job," Girardi said of his decision to demote Albaladejo. "It's hard. I remember what it was like to be sent down, and it's a very hard conversation to have."
In two appearances during his stint with the Yanks, Albaladejo surrendered two hits and one earned run over 2 2/3 innings.
Derek Jeter started at designated hitter for the Yankees on Satuday. Manager Joe Girardi said the stretch of 17 games in 17 days and the near-record heat in the Bronx contributed to the decision. He indicated he may DH Alex Rodriguez on Sunday. ... The Yankees' four-run first Friday was their 35th inning this season with at least four runs, tops in the Majors. ... New York's win Friday secured at least a series split and means Kansas City will not win its first series in the Bronx since 1999 this weekend. ... Jorge Posada became the 11th catcher in Major League history to record 1,000 RBIs while playing 1,000 or more games behind the plate Friday. ... Robinson Cano is sitting on 998 career hits entering Saturday's game
Tim Britton and Didier Morais are associate reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.