Mark Teixeira expected to return

TORONTO -- New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira is expected to return to the lineup for Monday's game against the Boston Red Sox, provided he comes through one final workout in Tampa on Sunday and is cleared to play by the team's medical staff.

"We expect to see him in New York on Monday," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He'll see the doctor tomorrow and see if he's cleared to play."

If so, Girardi said he was likely to play Teixeira at first base for the first time since Sept. 8, when he attempted to return to action after missing 10 games with a strained left calf.

That did not work out well -- Teixeira aggravated the injury trying to beat out a game-ending double play and missed the next 19 games. But Girardi said he felt confident Teixeira was ready to rejoin the team as it battles down to the wire for the AL East title with the stubborn Baltimore Orioles.

In the 30 games Teixeira has missed since originally suffering the injury Aug. 27, the Yankees have gone 17-13 and have seen their lead in the division shrink from 3½ games to a first-place tie with the Orioles. Both teams finished play Sunday with a 92-67 record.

"It has affected us," Girardi said. "It seemed like everyone was throwing left-handers against us, and (Teixeira) is a huge bat against left-handers."

If Teixeira plays Monday night, it will mark only the second time both he and Alex Rodriguez have been in the Yankees' lineup since July 24, the night Rodriguez suffered a broken left hand after being hit by a pitch.

"It's the first time we'll have our whole lineup for a long time, which is really good," Girardi said. "It will make our lineup different. Obviously they're two middle-of-the-order hitters, No. 1. But two, it gives you the ability not to stack left-handers, which is something that we've had to fight, and at times we've been vulnerable to that."

In 120 games this season, Teixeira is hitting .255 with 23 home runs and 81 RBIs.