OAKLAND -- Mark Teixeira grew tired of an early-season attempt to boost his batting average and wants to return to swinging hard and not trying to guide the ball.
Blasting a homer on Friday and two on Saturday -- giving him eight on the season -- tells the Yankees switch-hitter that he might be making a wise decision.
"I'm just trying to grind through it, trying to be a little more aggressive at the plate," said Teixeira, who also delivered a two-run single among his four hits in Saturday's 9-2 win. " ... I'm feeling a lot better. The days off have helped. I'm just trying to make a little bit of progress every day."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi was pleased to hear that Teixeira was trying to return to the form that has permitted him to hit at least 30 home runs and drive in 100 runs in each of the last eight seasons, the only Major League player to do so.
"That's what he's been," Girardi said. "He's been a guy that's hit for power and driven in runs. Production is what we want. We want production from him. We know he's going to play a great first base and we want production from him."
Teixeira entered Saturday batting .231 with 23 RBIs, a notch below even the .248 average he posted last season and thought to be unacceptable, dipping from .256 in 2010 and .292 during the Yankees' 2009 World Series championship season.
Girardi said that the defensive shifts on Teixeira probably take away two or three hits each 100 at-bats but said that he still believes Teixeira can get back to an elite offensive level.
"If he hits .270 and has 35 [homers] and 115 [RBIs], are we going to complain? No way," Girardi said. "I'll be thrilled to death with that."
Girardi was asked if he would be fine with a .240 batting average and 35 homers from Teixeira, a thought the manager rolled around for a moment.
"Probably not," he said. "But my point is that I don't believe he's a .240 hitter."