SEATTLE -- Vernon Wells posted his first multihit game since May 13 in Saturday's 3-1 victory over the Mariners, and the Yankees outfielder's initial reaction was surprise that it hadn't been longer than that.
"It's only been three weeks?" Wells said. "The funny thing is, I haven't felt bad. That's the only thing that's kept me from snapping; I've had some good at-bats, hit some balls hard, but obviously the results are all that matters.
"[Saturday] I took some good swings, found some holes, and hopefully I can continue doing that for a good stretch here."
Wells' last multihit game came in the second game of a doubleheader at Cleveland, and he owns six hits in his last 57 at-bats entering Sunday, seeing his batting average drop from .299 after that twin bill against the Indians to .241.
"I know when I'm making right turns [into the dugout] instead of left turns all the time," Wells said. "It's never fun, but we've been playing good baseball of late, so it's a little easier to swallow when you're winning games."
Lower back stiffness keeps Youk out of lineup
SEATTLE -- Kevin Youkilis was out of the Yankees' lineup on Sunday with stiffness in his lower back, one day after he slid into first base making a defensive play in the Yankees' 3-1 victory over the Mariners.
Youkilis dropped into a feet-first slide to beat Raul Ibanez to the bag on a second-inning ground ball and appeared to be in some discomfort after the play, which was similar to the way he aggravated a bulging disc in his back on April 27 against the Blue Jays.
"I go as hard as I can and the results happen after," Youkilis said. "I think now I'll just maybe dive headfirst more. That was talked about, just dive headfirst and make it look extra special, I guess. That play probably doesn't happen that much anyway."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that his hope is that giving Youkilis Sunday off, coupled with Monday's off-day, will allow him to play on Tuesday against the Athletics in Oakland.
"My hope is after playing five days in a row, the next time he'll be able to play six," Girardi said. "We've got a couple of six-day stretches that hopefully we can run him out there every day."
Youkilis said that he probably won't have to play first base much with Mark Teixeira now healthy, but said he was not joking about diving headfirst into first base on a similar play in the future.
"For what I have, I think the big thing when you have a bulging disc, you don't want to compress down on it," Youkilis said.
Girardi, who dealt with his share of back injuries during his own playing career, said that he was not exactly sold on Youkilis' idea.
"Yeah, please don't," Girardi said, with a laugh. "I think that's probably worse. Maybe he should just run straight through the bag."
• Left-hander Vidal Nuno has been placed on the Minor League disabled list at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with a groin strain. Nuno was forced to leave his start at Syracuse after 1 2/3 innings on Friday.
• Shortstop Eduardo Nunez has resumed rotational exercises at the Yankees' complex in Tampa, Fla. Nunez has not played since May 5 with an oblique injury.
• Derek Jeter is scheduled to be seen by Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C., this week. If the examination of his left ankle goes well, Jeter would again be cleared to resume baseball exercises.
• On this date in 1928, Tony Lazzeri went 4-for-5 and had three RBIs while Lou Gehrig hit a solo home run in a 7-3 win at Cleveland. The Yankees improved to 39-8 with the win, giving them a 10 1/2-game lead in the American League after just 47 games.