OAKLAND -- The countdown will follow Derek Jeter every time he sets foot into a batter's box from here on, with the Yankees captain now standing 19 hits away from rolling his odometer to 3,000 hits.
But Jeter had time to kid around about a milestone with one of his old buddies on Monday, joshing the A's Hideki Matsui about his continuing pursuit of a 500th homer -- he's four shy, having hit 332 in Japan and 164 in the Majors.
"I'm happy for him," said Jeter, who was told of the mark by several reporters from Japan. "Obviously I don't want him to get it while we're here, but I've always told you he's one of my favorite teammates. He was fun to play with, fun to watch. It's good to catch up with him."
Matsui went 0-for-3 in the Yankees' 5-0 win over the A's on Monday. He is batting .222, with three homers and 19 RBIs in 46 games this season.
He was allowed to sign with the Angels as a free agent after earning World Series MVP honors with the Yankees in 2009, having hit all but 24 of his MLB homers in pinstripes after debuting with the Bombers in 2003.
"It's good to see him," manager Joe Girardi said. "He meant so much to our organization and what we did in 2009."
As for Jeter, who singled in the first inning off Oakland's Trevor Cahill, he said that thoughts of the 3,000th hit are still being kept at bay.
"That's still a ways away. We're trying to win games," Jeter said. "I'm trying to have good at-bats, and hopefully it's going to come."
Martin scratched from lineup with sore toe
OAKLAND -- Yankees catcher Russell Martin was scratched from Monday's 5-0 victory against the Athletics with soreness in his big left toe.
Martin fouled a ball off his foot in Saturday's extra-inning loss to the Mariners at Safeco Field and did not play on Sunday, given the day game after a night game off.
Manager Joe Girardi said that Martin could be ready to return to action on Tuesday.
"My hope is he's available," Girardi said. "The toe's sore. It started about three weeks ago and he seemed to get over that ... and he hit the ball off the same toe."
Martin was listed in New York's original lineup on Monday, but Girardi scratched Martin after talking to him after batting practice.
Francisco Cervelli replaced Martin behind the plate and went 1-for-2 with a walk and a sacrifice fly.
Teixeira's hot May continues with another homer
OAKLAND -- The outfield dimensions at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum aren't the friendliest around the league, but the way Mark Teixeira is slugging, there aren't many ballparks that will hold him anyway.
Teixeira homered for the fourth time in five games and the seventh time in 11 contests on Monday, blasting a two-run shot to right field off Trevor Cahill in the first inning of New York's 5-0 victory over Oakland.
"I've said it before, home runs come in bunches," Teixeira said, "and right now I'm just kind of in one of those streaks where I'm hitting the ball out of the park a lot. Hopefully it keeps up. I feel pretty good up there."
Now tied with Curtis Granderson for the team lead in homers with 16, 11 of Teixeira's blasts have come with men on base.
"He's been on a great streak for us," manager Joe Girardi said. "It seems like when it starts to warm up, he's one of those guys that really warms up. Tex is a guy that can carry a club, that can put up a lot of runs for you in a hurry, and he's been doing that."
Teixeira has been frustrated by his slow starts and even tried a new equation this spring, subbing extra swings in the batting cage for minutes normally spent in the weight room. But nothing seems to serve as a substitute for just flipping the calendar to May and onward.
"I wish I could bottle it up," Teixeira said. "This game would be much easier. But you just never know. You hit a bunch in a one- or two-week period and then you don't hit one for three weeks. That's just the way it is sometimes."
Girardi reflects about veterans on Memorial Day
OAKLAND -- The Yankees curiously examined the new blue-and-white caps they were issued for Monday's Memorial Day matinee against the Athletics, working to break the bills in before taking them onto the diamond.
Joe Girardi would be wearing the stars and stripes on the interlocking 'NY' during the game, but in his heart, the Yankees manager said that he was quietly paying tribute to Memorial Day as well.
"My father [Jerry] served in the Korean War," Girardi said. "I've had uncles serve. Being to Walter Reed [Army Medical Center] and seeing what the people have done, giving up their lives for us, I definitely reflect. This is a special day and a day that we should honor those men and women."
The Yankees flew to the Bay Area from Seattle after their game on Sunday, and Girardi said that he liked to think that baseball teams play to entertain the service members on this holiday.
"Because of what these men and women have done for our country, if it is an outlet for them, I think we should always play," Girardi said. "There should be plenty of games for them to watch. They should be able to watch their favorite teams."
Entering play on Monday, the Yankees were 21-17 on Memorial Day dating back to 1971, when the holiday first began to be celebrated on the last Monday in May. They did not play on Memorial Day in 1973, 2004 or '05.