Lower back stiffness keeps Youk out of lineup

Lower back stiffness keeps Youk out of lineup

Lower back stiffness keeps Youk out of lineup

SEATTLE -- Kevin Youkilis was out of the Yankees' lineup on Sunday with stiffness in his lower back, one day after he slid into first base making a defensive play in the Yankees' 3-1 victory over the Mariners.

Youkilis dropped into a feet-first slide to beat Raul Ibanez to the bag on a second-inning ground ball and appeared to be in some discomfort after the play, which was similar to the way he aggravated a bulging disc in his back on April 27 against the Blue Jays.

"I go as hard as I can and the results happen after," Youkilis said. "I think now I'll just maybe dive headfirst more. That was talked about, just dive headfirst and make it look extra special, I guess. That play probably doesn't happen that much anyway."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that his hope is that giving Youkilis Sunday off, coupled with Monday's off-day, will allow him to play on Tuesday against the Athletics in Oakland.

"My hope is after playing five days in a row, the next time he'll be able to play six," Girardi said. "We've got a couple of six-day stretches that hopefully we can run him out there every day."

Youkilis said that he probably won't have to play first base much with Mark Teixeira now healthy, but said he was not joking about diving headfirst into first base on a similar play in the future.

"For what I have, I think the big thing when you have a bulging disc, you don't want to compress down on it," Youkilis said.

Girardi, who dealt with his share of back injuries during his own playing career, said that he was not exactly sold on Youkilis' idea.

"Yeah, please don't," Girardi said, with a laugh. "I think that's probably worse. Maybe he should just run straight through the bag."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.