MOOSIC, Pa. — Mark Teixeira simply was happy to play.
“I have been pretty bored the past two-and-a-half weeks,” said the Yankees’ first baseman, who began the first of a three-game rehab assignment with the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailrRiders. “Being away from baseball that long seems like an eternity.”
Teixeira, who hit third in the lineup Tuesday night and wore his number 25, went 0-for-3 in his first three at-bats with a strikeout, but he smashed a line drive, sacrifice fly to left in his final at-bat that helped the RailRiders to a 9-2 victory.
Earlier, he grounded to first twice and struck out on a 3-2 pitch with runners at first and third. On his final groundout, he hit the first pitch with runners at the corners and two out.
He left the game after six innings and was flawless in the field, beginning with fielding a sharp grounder and beating the runner to the bag in the first inning. It was one of seven putouts and he also started a double play on a grounder and a flip to second.
Teixeira, who has been on the disabled list since June with a cartilage tear in his right knee, didn’t experience any pain and expects to continue to progress. At the time of his injury, he appeared in 48 games and was hitting .180 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 167 at-bats.
He will be the DH for Wednesday’s game and will play a full game at first Thursday. If all goes well, he expects to be back with the Yankees on Saturday.
“During my last at-bat, I had a really good swing,” he said. “Right now, it is about seeing pitches and taking good swings. I had to make some adjustments and I felt good taking the ground balls.”
Getting back to the field also alleviated a sense of frustration with his injury.
“With a muscle, there is a lot of ways you can treat it,” he said. “But with what I had, there is not a lot that I could do. You warm it up and ice it afterward.
“When it was getting bad, it was locking up just walking. It was very painful and I couldn’t move it. That’s when I knew I had some problems. In everything I do, I want to make sure that it doesn’t bother me.
“It is really about the health. There is nothing that can simulate playing a full game. That’s what I have to get to right now. Just getting out there and trying to get in rhythm is a start.”
Aaron Judge, once considered to be a possible heir apparent to Teixeira, hit two-run homer in first and he followed with a laser, solo shot to right in the third.
“He is a lot of potential and seeing that potential shining through tonight was fun for me,” added Teixeira. “Hopefully, he has a nice, long career in the Bronx.”