Greg Bird had a precautionary MRI on his back on Tuesday morning that came back normal, and the 24-year-old first baseman said he feels better and hopes to play for the Yankees on Wednesday.
Bird was scratched from Monday’s lineup due to back spasms. He did not play in Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to the Rays at Citi field.
Bird has missed most of the last two seasons due to injury. He underwent right ankle surgery in mid-July. Bird produced homers in back-to-back games Aug. 30-31, but has gone just 3-for-24 in September. Chase Headley started at first base and singled in the seventh to extend his hitting streak to 10 straight games.
Clint Frazier, who was on the disabled list for 31 games due to an oblique injury, went 0-for-2 before being pinch-hit for by Jacoby Ellsbury in the eighth.
Greg Bird is hoping to play against the Rays on Wednesday.
Frazier hit the ball well in both of his at-bats, sending a deep fly ball to right in the fifth. Ellsbury, who has been swing the bat well of late, popped up the first pitch he saw from Tommy Hunter. Ellsbury came in 7-for-20 lifetime vs. Hunter.
“It’s not what you want as a player, getting hit for,” Frazier said. “But it’s a decision Joe (Girardi) thought was best at the moment right there, so I can’t do anything but try to prove that next time I’m able to hit in that position.”
The Yankees lead baseball with 25 one-run losses. … They dropped to four games back of the Red Sox in the AL East. … Aaron Judge is hitless in his past two games since homering twice on Sunday. Judge struck out three times on Tuesday — including twice looking. … Joe Girardi said Chad Green and David Robertson, who threw multiple innings on Sunday and Monday, respectively, could be possibly be available for a bit on Wednesday, though Thursday was more likely. Robertson pitched a career-high 2.2 innings on Monday. Green has had 16 appearances with at least two innings pitched. … Didi Gregorius, who was 8-for-19 in his previous five games, didn’t start but came in as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and grounded out to first. … Starlin Castro, who is 0 for his last 14 at-bats, could get a day off soon, Girardi said. … The attendance was 21,024.