NEW YORK -- The Yankees battery consisting of Russell Martin and CC Sabathia is back after almost four months apart. Martin caught the Yankees' ace on Friday against the Mariners for the first time since April 11 -- Sabathia's second start of the season.
Backup Chris Stewart had caught every Sabathia start since, although manager Joe Girardi repeatedly expressed his desire to get Martin back with Sabathia.
"I knew I had to do it sooner or later," Girardi said. "It was just time to do it."
Girardi considered reuniting the tandem in a late-June game against the Mets, but Martin experienced lower back stiffness that kept him out of the lineup, and by the time the catcher was back, Sabathia was on the disabled list with a left groin strain.
Stewart caught Sabathia's three starts since the lefty's short stint on the disabled list, but Martin will be the everyday backstop in the postseason, and Sabathia will continue to be the ace. Stewart can still expect consistent playing time, as he caught every Freddy Garcia start since Garcia returned to New York's starting rotation.
Teixeira returns to lineup after bruising wrist
NEW YORK -- Joe Girardi waited to fill out his lineup for Friday's 6-3 Yankees win over the Mariners until first baseman Mark Teixeira took batting practice for the first time since injuring his left wrist, but after a trouble-free 1-for-4 night in his return, Teixeira appears to be in the clear.
An MRI exam on Tuesday showed inflammation in the wrist, which Teixeira injured on Sunday, then aggravated on Monday. X-rays were negative, but the Yankees shut Teixeira down from all activity for three days. He saw a doctor on Friday afternoon and swung a bat for the first time during BP, convincing the manager he could return after missing only two games.
"I felt pretty good," Teixeira said after Friday's win. "I didn't expect this to be too big of an issue. It's just a little soreness you have to take care of, and that's where we are."
Girardi said he will continue to check in on Teixeira before the next few games but will likely stop if Teixeira gets through the remainder of the Yankees' series against the Mariners without any issues.
Chavez exits as precaution with sore ankle
NEW YORK -- Joe Girardi lifted Eric Chavez in favor of a defensive substitute for the final three outs of Friday's 6-3 Yankees win over the Mariners, but neither the manager nor the third baseman expect the right ankle soreness that popped up in the eighth inning to be a serious issue.
Girardi and head athletic trainer Steve Donohue visited Chavez at the plate during Chavez's eighth-inning at-bat, when "his ankle grabbed at him," Girardi said. Chavez insisted he could finish the at-bat -- a strikeout against Stephen Pryor -- but Girardi pulled him in favor of Jayson Nix for the ninth inning.
"It's a little sore, but I just have to wait and see how it feels tomorrow," Chavez said. "I don't foresee it being anything serious."
Girardi tries Granderson at leadoff, Jeter second
NEW YORK -- On Friday against the Mariners, Derek Jeter batted somewhere other than leadoff for only the second time out of the season's first 105 games. Jeter hit second in the series opener against the Mariners, slotted behind Curtis Granderson, who led off for the fourth time this season.
Jeter hit second the only other time he started and did not lead off, which was also against the Mariners. Ichiro Suzuki led off that game.
Manager Joe Girardi said he made the decision to avoid stacking left-handed hitters in his lineup, a problem that arises without Alex Rodriguez in the middle of the order.
The game marked the 2,529th game of Jeter's career, moving him past Ernie Banks for sole possession of 10th place on baseball's all-time games played list among players who spent their entire career with one team. Jeter led off 928 of those games and hit second in 1,307.
Timetable unchanged, A-Rod visits Yanks
NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez was in the Yankees' clubhouse on Friday, but there is no change to the timetable for a return from the non-displaced fracture in his left hand that the third baseman suffered a little more than a week ago in Seattle.
It remains likely that Rodriguez will miss at least four to six weeks since taking an 88-mph Felix Hernandez changeup off his hand on July 24.
The third baseman worked on his conditioning and legs and threw at Yankee Stadium, but he remains unable to do any physical activity with his left hand.
Steven Miller is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.