Teixeira hits two-run homer in return to lineup

Teixeira hits two-run homer in return to lineup

Teixeira hits two-run homer in return to lineup
NEW YORK -- Mark Teixeira had proven that he was ready to return to the Yankees' lineup by sprinting around the bases, but fortunately for him, all that was needed on Monday was a slow trot.

Teixeira blasted a long two-run homer as part of the Yankees' nine-run second inning, reporting no issues as he played seven innings in New York's 10-2 drubbing of the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.

"It's a big relief," said Teixeira, who went 1-for-3 with a walk. "I didn't really know what to expect, but it was a great game all around. Not having to test it this early, I'd love to get a few games under my belt and if I have to beat out a double play or stretch a single into a double later, I'll definitely feel better about it."

Teixeira had missed the last 20 games and 30 of the Yankees' last 31 with a strained left calf, but now that he has healed, Teixeira said that he expects to play in the last two remaining regular-season games as well as throughout the entire postseason run.

"It's nice to have him back in there," manager Joe Girardi said. "He's been an extremely productive hitter for us, outstanding first baseman. It's really good to have him back."

Teixeira was cleared to play after taking part in intrasquad games at the Yankees' complex in Tampa, Fla. He rushed back after injuring his calf Aug. 27 and missed the next 10 games, aggravating it on Sept. 8 in Baltimore and missing every game since. The Yankees went 14-6 during that stretch.

"It feels a lot better than when I came back the first time in Baltimore," Teixeira said. "That's why I feel more comfortable this time."

Teixeira said that he wants to keep playing first base, believing it will keep him looser than serving as a designated hitter, but he still feels some tightness. He said that he will take his time running the bases when possible in an effort to avoid re-injuring his calf.

"Hopefully there's no issues if I have to go take it to another level," Teixeira said. "I really only have a couple levels. Speed really isn't my game, but if I do have to leg out a double or score on a single from second base, that would be a good test for me."