08/04/11 2:00 AM ET
Teixeira's adjustments fuel hot streak
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
Right now, Mark Teixeira is streaking positively.
Teixeira set a Major League record by hitting a home run from each side of the plate in the same game for the 12th time in his career on Tuesday. With that, the Yankees' first baseman entered play on Wednesday with 10 hits in his last four games, and six homers to go along with 15 RBIs in 12 contests since July 22.
Just prior to that, Teixeira went on a 17-game homerless drought that saw him hit just .224.
"I think it just goes back to me getting ready early," Teixeira said about turning it around. "I had a bad stretch there, and [hitting coach] Kevin Long just said, 'Hey, you're late.' Just getting down early, getting ready and trying to put good swings on the ball."
The .256 batting average Teixeira entered Wednesday's game with isn't what he wants, and it probably won't end up where he wants it no matter how hot he remains for the rest of the season.
Still, Teixeira, who went 1-for-5 with three RBIs in Wednesday's 18-7 rout, ranks second in the Majors in homers with 31 and has added a team-leading 85 RBIs.
Joe Girardi will take that any day.
"This guy's put up big numbers for a long time," the Yankees' skipper said. "I mean, that's what he does. You look at his RBIs and his homers, they're very good. Yeah, you hope he can carry it out the next eight weeks. That would be awesome. You know, the chances of a guy staying hot for eight weeks, I guess sometimes you're going to go through some blips, but this guy's a good hitter; he's capable of doing it."
Hughes to remain in starting rotation
CHICAGO -- Phil Hughes' performance on Tuesday night was good enough to keep him in the rotation.
For how much longer, and what that means for Ivan Nova, has yet to be determined. But after hurling six breezy, shutout innings against the White Sox before rain eventually ended the game in the seventh inning at U.S. Cellular Field, Hughes is now in line to start next Tuesday against the Angels.
"I think our plans right now are to keep Phil on rotation on Tuesday," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who cautioned that those plans are still not "set in stone" and he still hadn't told Hughes.
"We want Nova to throw well, and if he continues to throw well, we'll have to answer some questions as to exactly what we're going to do," Girardi added. "But Phil was real good last night."
His best of an injury-riddled 2011, actually.
Hughes needed only 65 pitches to get through six frames, which saw him give up only three hits while walking none and putting no runners in scoring position during the Yankees' rain-shortened 6-0 win.
The Yankees are going with a six-man rotation this week, with Nova starting the series finale against the White Sox on Thursday. Girardi's preference is to cut it down to five, but he's open to going with six starters another time through -- though that would make juggling his starters extra difficult because of Monday's off-day.
"I mean, there's a lot of different things we can do," Girardi said. "That's the good thing about it. The best thing is to have everyone throwing well, and contributing from some place. That's the best scenario that we can have. I thought Ivan had a good start the other night, and Phil had a good start last night. I mean, that's great. Let's just keep it going. We'll keep guys rolling."
Left to be determined is whether Nova stays in the rotation or not. And if he doesn't, whether he ends up in the Minor Leagues or pitches out of the bullpen.
Nova knows which one of those two he prefers.
"I always say the big leagues is the big leagues," said Nova, who gave up two runs in seven innings during his big league return on Saturday. "Nobody wants to be in the Minor Leagues. If they think that, they need me in the bullpen, I'll go to the bullpen. I'm not saying that I want to go there, but if that's the decision that they make, then that's what I'm going to do."
Girardi wouldn't commit to Hughes past his next start, and wouldn't say whether he'd prefer to keep Nova stretched out in the Minor Leagues -- perhaps to keep him as an option to start during the Aug. 27 doubleheader against the Orioles -- or use him as a reliever, at which he has little experience.
All Girardi knows right now is that Hughes is making his next start.
The rest is still up in the air.
"I can't tell you exactly what we're going to do," Girardi said. "I wish I could, but we can't. We just don't have it ironed out. We have to see what we have this week."
Jeter moves past Brock on hits list
CHICAGO -- With his second five-hit game of the season at U.S. Cellular Field on Wednesday night in the Yankees' 18-7 drubbing of the White Sox, Derek Jeter continued his march up the all-time hits list.
The Yankees' captain reached on a bunt single in the first inning, then knocked a base hit to right field in the second, giving him 3,024 career hits to move him past Hall of Famer Lou Brock for sole possession of 23rd place on the all-time list.He then singled in two runs during the Yankees' seven-run third inning outburst and singled yet again in the fifth. After lining out to first in the seventh, he doubled and scored in the eighth for the fourth five-hit game of his career.
Jeter has notched at least two hits in three of his last four games. Next on the list is Rod Carew, with 3,053.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Alex Rodriguez would remain the cleanup hitter when he gets back. Right-hander Mark Prior suffered a bruised left forearm after being hit by a ball during batting practice at the Yankees' Minor League complex in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, according to The Associated Press. As part of the four-day Turn 2 Foundation New York City Baseball Clinic in support of Derek Jeter's charity, former Yankee Tino Martinez made a special guest appearance on Wednesday. The event is for kids ages 8-13 and is held at the Al Oerter Recreation Center in Flushing, N.Y.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.