8/24/2014 6:26 P.M. ET
Banged-up Gardner, Ellsbury get some rest
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Brett Gardner celebrated his 31st birthday with a lengthy visit to the trainers' room on Sunday, and the Yankees are not sure when the speedster will be able to return to the lineup.
Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury both started Sunday's game on the bench for injury-related reasons, but the team's concern is mostly with Gardner, who fouled a ball off of his right ankle during Saturday's 5-3 win over the White Sox.
"I woke up today and it wasn't feeling too good, so hopefully it'll be better tomorrow," Gardner said. "I'm hopeful, but I'm not confident, considering how it felt today. I'm hopeful that it feels better and I play tomorrow. We'll see."
X-rays were negative, but Gardner is having trouble walking and Girardi expressed doubt that Gardner would be available to play on Monday against the Royals. He added that Ellsbury has been "pretty beat up" physically, but Ellsbury is expected to play on Monday.
"This time of year, I think everybody has something going on, but I'll be ready to go," Ellsbury said.
After starting the game on the bench with White Sox left-hander Chris Sale on the mound, Ellsbury entered the game in the seventh inning as a defensive replacement, stroking a ninth-inning single and stealing a base.
"I knew I was probably coming in at some point in the game," Ellsbury said, following his club's 7-4 victory in 10 innings. "They've been trying to get me a day off for a while. It's just one of those days where I think they wanted to get as many righties in there as possible. I was ready to go from the start of the game if they needed."
Tanaka to throw another sim game Thursday
NEW YORK -- The next stop on Masahiro Tanaka's rehab road will be in the Motor City. The right-hander is scheduled to throw a simulated game on Thursday at Detroit's Comerica Park as he continues to work toward a September return to the big leagues.
Manager Joe Girardi said that Tanaka reported no issues after throwing 35 pitches in a simulated game off the mound at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.
"I have not had any emergency meetings in my office. That's a great sign," Girardi said. "He feels good and he'll continue to move ahead. We'll do a simulated game on Thursday in Detroit and then after that, we'll see."
Tanaka has been attempting to avoid surgery after sustaining a partial tear of his right ulnar collateral ligament in a July 8 start against the Indians in Cleveland. Girardi said that he expects Tanaka will throw more than the 35 pitches he tossed on Saturday, but he could not provide an exact number.
If Tanaka is able to join the team in September, the Yankees could utilize a six-man rotation to accommodate him, a possibility that pitching coach Larry Rothschild first acknowledged to the New York Post last week. Rothschild said that such a move would be made not only with Tanaka in mind, but for the health of other pitchers as well.
"I don't know what we'll do," Girardi said. "Hopefully, I have that bridge to cross and then we'll look at it. We'll see how our starters are doing and what we think is important. Sometimes out of need you can't; if someone else gets nicked up, that sort of thing."
Robertson's saves streak thrown for a curve
NEW YORK -- Looking to nail down his 35th save on Sunday against the White Sox, closer David Robertson hung a first-pitch curveball to Avisail Garcia, who hammered it over the wall in right to tie the game at 4.
The home run snapped Robertson's streak of 22 straight save opportunities since June 5, marking the second longest streak in the Majors this season. Brian McCann would eventually ease the sting and bail out his closer in the 10th inning with a walk-off home run for a 7-4 victory.
"It's obviously a pitch I want back," said Robertson. "I tried to throw a curveball for a strike. I didn't mean to hang it as bad as I did. I didn't see that outcome coming, but you've got to be a little better with the first pitch.
"It's easier to shake that one off when you win, for sure. It's frustrating because I really wanted to help us out in the game and keep some guys from having to go in, but it all worked out tonight."
His third blown save of the season would have been unusual except for earlier in the week, when he entered into a tie game and surrendered a three-run blast to the Astros' Chris Carter on a 3-0 pitch. He followed that up with a scoreless inning in back-to-back games against the White Sox on Friday and Saturday.
"If he tells me he's OK, I'm going to use him," said manager Joe Girardi. "Now, I won't use him [Monday]. He'll be off for me [Monday] and somebody else will have to get the job done. As you get later in the season, Robbie has done it before, you do it a little bit."
On Friday, Robertson became the fastest Yankees pitcher in terms of innings to reach 500 strikeouts, but the closer seemed optimistic Sunday that the home runs won't bother his mindset.
"I threw one pitch that I wanted back," he said. "It happens. These guys are good. They're not paid to hit ground balls or pop up. They're paid to put them in the seats."
• Right-hander David Phelps (right elbow inflammation) is continuing to play catch. He will remain in New York when the club goes on the road this week and will be evaluated after the trip.
• On this date in 1988, the Yankees trailed the Athletics, 6-2, heading to the bottom of the ninth inning in the Bronx. Seven singles and a three-run Ken Phelps homer later, the Yankees rallied for a 7-6 walk-off win. Rickey Henderson delivered the winning hit, driving in Luis Aguayo with a single to left field off Gene Nelson.