ST. PETERSBURG -- Beginning the season hitless through the first 17 at-bats was not the hot start Mark Teixeira had in mind for his second year with the Yankees, but there was nothing he could do but laugh about it.
So he did. After Teixeira snapped his skid Saturday with a fifth-inning, run-scoring double off Rays starter Wade Davis, Teixeira tacked on two more hits and flashed his sense of humor in discussing the breakout.
"It felt good," Teixeira said. "During your career, you always aim for milestones. I wanted to make sure I went 0-for-17, a personal best. And then after that, I wanted to make sure I had a couple of hits."
Teixeira joked that "every seven years" he seems to begin a year with a string like that. Teixeira broke in 0-for-16 with the Rangers in 2003 before finally doubling off Mark Mulder, then with the A's, for his first Major League hit.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi had predicted that Teixeira would break out Saturday, and said that he'd like to see the slugger add to it on Sunday, Teixeira's 30th birthday.
"It's great for Tex," Girardi said. "Tex knows he's a great hitter, and he's put up great numbers every year. But still, it's no fun to look up at that board and not have your first hit and you're in the fifth game. It's no fun as a player. I just had a feeling that it was going to happen. He swung the bat great."