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Yanks shake up lineup against Rays

Yanks shake up lineup against Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- One night after being trounced by double digits, the Yankees fielded a new-look lineup on Tuesday, though it wasn't necessarily in response to the Rays' 15-5 drubbing.

With Mark Teixeira back from a three-game absence, Johnny Damon took a breather after reporting to Tropicana Field under the weather, and rookie Ramiro Pena replaced the slumping Cody Ransom at third base.

Jose Molina also jumped back in to catch right-hander A.J. Burnett for the second time in two starts for New York, shifting Jorge Posada to the designated-hitter spot and putting Hideki Matsui on the bench.

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Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he wanted to find a way to keep Posada's bat in the lineup after he caught seven long innings in Monday's blowout, and Ransom needed a day off after playing in the first seven games of the season.

Girardi said that Damon has been dealing with a family issue involving his mother, though it is not expected to be anything that would force Damon to remain behind in Florida when the Yankees travel to New York after Wednesday's game.

"I haven't had too great sleep lately," Damon said. "It's probably just caught up to me. I'm very weak right now. Every little body part hurts and I feel creaky. Nothing really feels good."

"Physically and mentally, I think he needs a day," Girardi said.

Matsui has had a sluggish start to his season, batting .125 (3-for-24) in six games. Through an interpreter, he said that his surgically repaired left knee has not been an issue, but Matsui does not exactly feel comfortable at the plate.

"It's been good and bad," Matsui said. "I don't feel like I've really settled in yet since Opening Day. Physically, I feel fine. I think it's just the approach, getting my timing with the pitches. Those things are not quite there yet."

Ransom -- filling in while Alex Rodriguez rehabs from right hip surgery -- is batting .083 (2-for-24), though Girardi has said that he likes Ransom's approach at the plate and thought that he perhaps has been unlucky.

"He's played every inning so far," Girardi said. "I thought I'd give him a day and maybe get him to relax a little bit."

Girardi said that the Yankees considered a roster move after Monday, but ultimately decided that they would be fine for Tuesday, since four relievers did not pitch in the loss.

"We talked at length and just decided that we had enough today," Girardi said.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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