MINNEAPOLIS -- Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner is hitting .385 (5-for-13) with three RBIs over the past three games, but he was not in Saturday's lineup against the Twins.
Manager Joe Girardi defended his decision before the game.
"He's about the only guy who hasn't had a day off," Girardi said. "You get a little bit concerned, so you take the initiative, 'You know what? I'm going to give you a day off.'"
The 30-year-old Gardner has not taken a full day off since April 27, a span of 60 games. The last time he did not start was May 22, a span of 39 straight starts.
"A lot of times, when you have a guy who's 30 or 31 -- I've been on some teams where that's one of the older guys," Girardi said. "But on this team, he happens to be a young guy, and I don't remember the last time Gardy's had a day off.
"I think one of the things we deal with here is age. We don't have 25-, 26-year-olds running out there every day. You get your speed guys, and they're on the bases a lot. They're running a lot. Their legs get sore, and you worry about them physically."
Alfonso Soriano took Gardner's spot in left on Saturday afternoon.