Johnson slumping but still starting

ANAHEIM -- Mired in an 0-for-19 skid, designated hitter Nick Johnson was a volunteer for early batting practice on Friday at Angel Stadium, trying to work out the kinks that still plague his swing.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that despite the troubles, he hadn't considered benching Johnson or moving him from the No. 2 spot in the lineup. Johnson did snap the skid at 0-for-21 with a fourth-inning single off Ervin Santana, finishing 1-for-4 before leaving for pinch-hitter Marcus Thames in the ninth.

"At times, you're going to be in slumps," Girardi said. "I'm throwing him right back in there. This is a game where at times you're going to struggle, and you've got to fight your way right out of it."

Johnson's longest career hitless streak is an 0-for-22 slide set last season with the Marlins from Sept. 16 to Oct. 2.