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Gardner learns his lesson the hard way

Gardner learns his lesson the hard way

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Brett Gardner vows he'll never be thrown out at third base to end an inning again, a lesson he had to be reminded of the hard way in the 10th inning of the Yankees' 1-0 loss on Monday.

Television cameras captured Gardner being spoken to sternly by manager Joe Girardi and bench coach Rob Thomson in the dugout after he was picked off by Tampa Bay's Joaquin Benoit, running the Yankees out of a potential run-scoring situation.

"We just talked about what went into it, why I did what I did," Gardner said. "Obviously, with two outs you can't get thrown out going into third. I did, I screwed up. I take full responsibility. My fault."

Explaining the play, Gardner said he did not want to go into the details of what he saw, but he thought at the time that there was no way Benoit was going to attempt a pickoff on the 1-0 pitch.

"I was going to try to get to third and maybe take away his slider and give [Austin] Kearns a better pitch to hit," Gardner said. "I got a good jump and he picked, I wasn't expecting it."

Gardner is limited to playing defense and pinch-running on Tuesday with a sore left wrist, which received a cortisone injection on Monday. The Yankees have told Gardner not to swing a bat Tuesday in hopes his wrist will feel strong enough to play on Wednesday.

The speedster said that despite the wrist injury, he never hesitated to go into both second and third bases head-first on his steal attempts Monday.

"I'm not a good feet-first slider. I just always slide head-first," Gardner said.

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