Heart of lineup showing signs of life

Heart of lineup showing signs of life

Heart of lineup showing signs of life
KANSAS CITY -- There are signs of life from the heart of the Yankees' lineup, which is a very welcome development for manager Joe Girardi.

Mark Teixeira homered, singled and reached on an error in Friday's 6-2 win over the Royals, and both Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano also rapped hits to move their production in the right direction.

"I sure hope so, because any three, four, five [hitters] are so important to a lineup," Girardi said. "To get them going would really be helpful, especially with the two guys up top, the way they've been getting on base and producing."

Rodriguez served as the Yankees' designated hitter for the ninth time in his 26 games on Saturday, but Girardi said that he did so because he is hoping to have Rodriguez play third base in Sunday's afternoon contest in Kansas City.

"He's fine; don't make anything of it," Girardi said. "He is fine, and I'm just trying to keep him as fresh as I can. If you've noticed, I've only sat him one time in 26 games. I've only had to sit him one time, and it's because I'm able to do what I'm doing."

Derek Jeter had two hits on Friday, including a home run, to raise his batting average to .404, while Curtis Granderson has now reached base in 25 straight games since Opening Day.

Girardi has been most impressed by Jeter's power; he already has five homers in 114 at-bats entering Saturday after slugging just six in 546 at-bats in 2011.

"It really seemed that after he got past the 3,000th hit, he's hit extremely well," Girardi said. "He's hit for more power this year. ... He's just in a good groove. He feels good physically, and we'll continue to watch him."