Back better, Chavez returns to lineup

Back better, Chavez returns to lineup

NEW YORK -- Eric Chavez returned to the Yankees' lineup Monday after sitting out their weekend series in Toronto, and manager Joe Girardi does not expect any lingering back soreness to prompt precautions.

"We expect him to be fine," Girardi said.

Chavez played all four games in Detroit, going 9-for-16 with two homers and seven RBIs, and played six out of seven games before stiffness popped up in Toronto. Girardi planned on sitting Chavez for the finale in Detroit, but the third baseman entered Girardi's office and asked to be in the lineup as designated hitter.

Girardi said he would not hesitate to play Chavez on consecutive days again.

"If I need to, I'm going to," Girardi said. "I'm going to check with him every day how he's doing. We have an open communication."