ST. PETERSBURG -- The Yankees placed right-hander Rafael Soriano on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday with right elbow inflammation.

Soriano was examined by team physician Christopher Ahmad at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where an MRI revealed similar results to another examination made last Wednesday in New York.

The Yankees have no definite timetable for his return.

"My hope is it's just the 15 days, but I can't tell you if that's what it's going to be," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Soriano last pitched on Friday against the Red Sox, but he has been complaining of soreness since appearing in consecutive games on April 30 and May 1 against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium.

He attempted to throw a bullpen session on Monday at Tropicana Field, but Girardi told Soriano to stop because he felt stiffness in his pitching elbow.

Girardi also may speak to Soriano about his postgame comments on Monday, which raised eyebrows. He said that the Yankees' relievers should not be blamed for the team's current six-game losing streak.

"To me, I don't think the bullpen [is] the problem right now," Soriano said. "I think it [is] the hitters. [Those] things happen sometimes."

Soriano also said that his absence did not seem to have affected the team's fortunes.

"In these situations, how the team lost, that would not be the situation when I'm supposed to be in the game -- the eighth," Soriano said. "Everybody sees we've been losing by two, three runs. I don't think it would be the situation that I'd be in the game."

Girardi paused when asked about Soriano's comments.

"My thought is, we win as a team and we lose as a team," Girardi said. "Everyone on this club can always do a little bit more, and that's the bottom line. So you can take that for what it's worth.

"... What I do with my players, we try to keep it in-house, and that's what I'll do."

In the first year of a three-year, $35 million deal to serve as Mariano Rivera's setup man, Soriano is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 16 appearances.

He has been uncharacteristically wild with the Yankees: Soriano has walked 11 batters (one intentionally) in 15 innings after issuing just 14 free passes in 62 1/3 innings last year as the Rays closer.

"He's thrown the ball really well for us at times and struggled at times," Girardi said. "Unfortunately, he hasn't felt good lately. We just need to get him back, get him healthy."

In a corresponding roster move, the Yankees recalled outfielder Chris Dickerson from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. New York had been carrying 13 pitchers because Soriano was burning a roster spot.

Yanks call up Dickerson, put him in lineup

ST. PETERSBURG -- Chris Dickerson had little time to waste on Tuesday, summoned to Tropicana Field by the Yankees and immediately inserted into the starting lineup.

Dickerson got word of his promotion around midnight, as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees manager Dave Miley approached his seat on a bus rumbling back to Pennsylvania from Pawtucket.

"I swear, we were driving on a dirt road last night," Dickerson said. "It was eventful. Of course, you've got to pack up everything you own in the wee hours of the night. That's life, I guess."

Dickerson needed to be prepared, as Nick Swisher was out of New York's lineup on Tuesday with an intestinal virus.

Acquired from the Brewers in March for right-hander Sergio Mitre, Dickerson was hitting .248 (28-for-113) with one home run and 11 RBIs in 30 games at Triple-A.

"I've hit the ball well," Dickerson said. "I think I've been putting good at-bats together. Everyone's first impression would be critical of .250 or whatever it is, but I got off to a slow start, and the cold weather has been brutal, especially with the rain. That's not an excuse, but I'm very confident in what I've got going."

Dickerson saw big league time last year with the Reds and Brewers, and he was competing for a starting outfield job with Milwaukee at the time of the trade.

"You get that phone call and you still get goosebumps," Dickerson said. "It definitely teaches you not to take anything for granted."

Posada contributes two hits in return to lineup

ST. PETERSBURG -- Joe Girardi said that he did not have any second thoughts about putting Jorge Posada's name back into the lineup on Tuesday, marking the switch-hitter as his No. 7 hitter.

"To me, it was the place to put him today," Girardi said. "There's a lot of things that I look at, and I thought it was the place to put him."

Posada rewarded his manager with two hits in three at-bats, including a well-struck seventh-inning double off Rays starter James Shields that helped spark a two-run inning.

"It feels good to be back in the lineup and able to contribute, and be able to be part of a big win for us," Posada said after New York's 6-2 victory.

Posada's spot in the lineup helped fuel a New York media fiasco on Saturday, when he bristled at being dropped to the No. 9 spot and later asked to be taken out of the lineup.

The 39-year-old was then on the bench for games against the Red Sox's Jon Lester and the Rays' David Price on Sunday and Monday, respectively, owning an 0-for-24 mark this year against lefties.

Posada's two hits on Tuesday raised his average from .165 to .179. He left for a pinch-runner in the seventh inning.

"It was nice to just be able to put everything away and behind you, and go out and play ball," Posada said. "It was just one of those things that you're happy to be back in the lineup. It was a good feeling."

Yanks sign reliever Flores to Minors deal

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Yankees signed veteran left-hander Randy Flores to a Minor League contract on Tuesday, hoping he could provide some relief help down the line.

Flores, 35, will report to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after opting out of his contract with the Padres last week. He had a 2.89 ERA in 19 appearances at Triple-A Tucson.

The Yankees have been looking for left-handed relievers to challenge Boone Logan, their lone bullpen southpaw, who was 1-2 with a 3.97 ERA in 16 appearances entering Tuesday. Lefties have hit .310 (9-for-29) against Logan this season.

Originally selected by the Yankees in the ninth round of the 1997 Draft, Flores made 58 appearances last year in the Majors, 47 of them with the Rockies and 11 with the Twins. He was a combined 2-0 with a 3.19 ERA, though lefties batted .295 (18-for-61) off him.

Bombers bits

Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes made 45 throws Tuesday from distances of 90-100 feet. He will throw again on Thursday in Baltimore. ... Brett Gardner has 23 hits in his past 58 at-bats (.397) over his last 22 games dating back to April 26 after going 3-for-4 on Tuesday. ... Tuesday marked Derek Jeter's first three-strikeout game since June 26, 2010, against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. His ninth-inning single was career hit No. 2,966.