ST. PETERSBURG -- Brett Gardner's name was not in the Yankees' starting lineup for the occasion of his 30th birthday, but the speedster did have something to celebrate before Saturday's 4-2 loss to the Rays.
Gardner had said that he was not worried about his right hand after it was hit by a Chris Archer pitch in Friday's 7-2 loss, but on Saturday morning, the Yankees sent the outfielder for precautionary X-rays, which came back negative.
"When it got hit initially, it hurt, but afterwards, it was going well," said Gardner, who tripled in his next at-bat off Archer. "I knew it wasn't broken, so I wasn't concerned about it."
Manager Joe Girardi said that Gardner's benching had nothing to do with the hand but was instead because the Rays started left-hander David Price, against whom Gardner was 2-for-14 (.143).
Girardi pointed out that Curtis Granderson entered Saturday with four career home runs against Price (9-for-46, .196), and that Ichiro Suzuki (1-for-3, .333) seemed to have good at-bats against Price back in April.
Gardner said before Saturday's game that he would be available to pinch-hit, and he did just that in the ninth inning, flying out to center field against Fernando Rodney for the final out of the game.
"It's sore, but it's not an issue," Gardner said. "I don't think it'll be a problem swinging a bat or anything like that."
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.