NEW YORK -- A.J. Burnett wasn't thrilled by an early hook from his start Monday against the Twins in the fifth inning, but with a day to reflect, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he stands by his call.
Girardi yanked Burnett after four-plus innings in what finished as a 6-4 Yankees victory, believing that his stuff had tapered off after three dominant innings to start the contest.
Overshadowed by Mariano Rivera's record-setting 602nd career save were Burnett's remarks, in which he said his stuff had been "nasty" and added, "Heaven forbid I give up a couple hits."
"Every pitcher, I hope, feels like he can get out of what he's gotten into," Girardi said. "I think that's probably the most important thing, that you have that confidence."
Girardi noted that the Twins didn't get a ball out of the infield in the first three innings against Burnett, striking out seven times, but began to hit him harder in the fourth.
"I thought his stuff had clearly changed; that's why I pulled him," Girardi said of Burnett. "It wasn't that I wanted to, I was hoping to get distance out of him. I would've loved to have a complete game, but I thought his stuff clearly changed."
Burnett exited in the fifth, having turned a 5-0 lead into a 5-4 advantage, serving up homers to Chris Parmelee and Michael Cuddyer.
Cory Wade picked up the win in relief, as Burnett owns just two victories in his last 14 starts. After the game, Burnett said it would have been "irrelevant" to debate the point further with Girardi.
Added Burnett on Monday: "Joe does what he can to get this team a win, and we won. ... You do whatever you can to get your team a 'W,' I guess."
For Rivera, focus is back on pennant race
NEW YORK -- Former all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman and the president of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, were among the multitude of friends and family who contacted Yankees closer Mariano Rivera on Monday to congratulate him on his record-breaking 602nd save.
But despite all the accolades, Rivera arrived at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday afternoon ready to get back to work against the Rays.
"It won't change. What I said yesterday, I'll say today," Rivera said. "Yes, it's nice, but we've got business to take care of tonight. Yesterday's over. Tonight's a new game. We have to get ready for the game. I don't have time to be thinking of what happened yesterday. I thank God for [yesterday], but [today] we've got a new one."
Rivera spent the evening at a retirement party for longtime Yankees trainer Gene Monahan. Rivera said he had a nice time at the party and that the focus was on "Geno," and not his ascension to becoming the all-time saves leader. Though he said it was an honor to receive a phone call from the president of his home country and appreciated Hoffman's class, Rivera said he's glad to have all the hubbub over and out of the way.
"Thank God, good thing it's over," Rivera said. "I have to move on and concentrate on really what we're here for, and that's the pennant race."
Girardi 'not sure' if Cervelli will be back
NEW YORK -- Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli continues to feel post-concussion symptoms, and it is not certain if he will be able to return this season.
Manager Joe Girardi said that Cervelli is scheduled to see a neurologist on Friday and has not been cleared to resume any activities.
"He's still experiencing symptoms," Girardi said on Tuesday. "I'm not sure we're going to get him back."
Cervelli had said that he was feeling better on Monday, but that he remains unsure about his potential availability for the postseason.
If Cervelli is sidelined for the playoffs, the Yankees would consider carrying rookies Jesus Montero or Austin Romine as the backup catcher to Russell Martin.
Cervelli suffered the concussion, which he believes was the third of his career, when he was hit in a home-plate collision with the Orioles' Nick Markakis on Sept. 8 in Baltimore.
Medal of Honor recipient and Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyers threw out the ceremonial first pitch on Tuesday. The first living Marine to receive a Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan, Meyers received the award at a White House ceremony on Sept. 15 for his heroic efforts during battle on Sept. 8, 2009, in Ganjgal Valley in which he saved the lives of 13 U.S. Marines and soldiers, in addition to 23 Afghan soldiers.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he plans to have right-hander Phil Hughes pitch the first game of Wednesday's day-night doubleheader against the Rays, opposing right-hander James Shields. Left-hander CC Sabathia is scheduled to pitch the nightcap, facing right-hander Jeremy Hellickson.
Tuesday marked a scheduled designated-hitter day for Alex Rodriguez. Girardi said of Rodriguez, "I don't feel we can run him out in the field six or seven days in a row."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @bryanhoch. Aaron Taube is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.