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1B Mark Teixeira returns to Yankees' lineup

Photo: Kathy Willens

New York Yankees' Mark Teixeira, who has suffered from recurring wrist problems since suffering a wrist injury and undergoing season-ending surgery last year, looks to the outfield after taking batting practice before the Yankee's baseball game against th

NEW YORK (AP) Mark Teixeira returned to the New York Yankees' power-starved lineup Tuesday night after missing two more games because of inflammation in his surgically repaired right wrist.

Manager Joe Girardi had the switch-hitting first baseman batting fourth against Oakland.

Girardi said he was confident there is nothing more seriously wrong with the wrist that was operated on last season and limited Teixeira to 15 games.

''We've been reassured by his doctor a couple of times. It is some inflammation,'' Girardi said. ''You knock it out and he'll be fine. There is nothing to lead me to believe you can't knock it out and you can't be 100 percent again.''

Teixeira took batting practice from both sides of the plate Tuesday, but he is affected mostly when he swings from the left side.

The A's were starting left-hander Scott Kazmir in the series opener. That meant Teixeira would hit from the right side, where he has just one of his nine homers this season.

With Carlos Betran out and Brian McCann and Alfonso Soriano struggling, the Yankees have hit just five homers in the past 15 games.

''It will be huge because he's a run producer, a guy who hits the ball out of the ballpark,'' Girardi said of having Teixeira back. ''He's a switch hitter who breaks up things for us.''

Beltran (bone spur in right elbow) went 2 for 3 with a walk as the designated hitter in an extended spring training game in Tampa, Florida. Girardi said it was possible that Beltran could rejoin the Yankees on Friday in Kansas City.

The Yankees also recalled righty swinging infielder Scott Sizemore from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and sent outfielder Zoilo Almonte to the team's top minor league club. Girardi said the move was made because New York will be facing several left-handers over the next couple of weeks.

In other news, the Yankees claimed off waivers left-hander Wade LeBlanc from the Los Angeles Angels. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, starting pitcher Michael Pineda (upper back muscle) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

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