ATLANTA -- For those wondering why Rafael Soriano didn't enter Monday night's 3-0 Yankees win over the Braves in the ninth inning, the right-hander was held out by manager Joe Girardi because of a blister on the tip of his right index finger.Soriano is expected to be available to pitch in Tuesday night's rematch. "It's just a real little blister on his finger," Girardi said. "My thought is that he'll be available [on Tuesday]. He said it was OK, but I wasn't comfortable, so I gave it a day." Soriano blew the save and a 4-3 Yankees lead on Sunday at Yankee Stadium against the Mets. The Yanks ultimately won, 5-4, in the bottom of the ninth on Russell Martin's walk-off homer. Instead of starting the ninth on Monday with Soriano, Girardi turned to righty Cory Wade for the inning's first out, then got the final two outs from lefty Boone Logan. Girardi used four relievers behind victorious starter Ivan Nova, who worked the opening seven innings, giving up only five singles and improving to 8-2. That quartet retired all six hitters it faced in the eighth and ninth. Soriano said he felt the blister develop on Sunday but warmed up and threw long toss before Monday's game, adding that he could've pitched against Atlanta. The finger had a bandage wrapped around its tip in the visitors' clubhouse after the game. Soriano has recorded nine saves in 10 opportunities this year and has assumed the closer role due to injuries to Mariano Rivera and David Robertson. "[Girardi] said it could be nothing -- 'Just give me one day, come back and tell me how you feel,'" Soriano said. "I've never had a problem like this before. Not in this finger. In the [ring] finger, my nail broke, but that was different. We'll see what happens. Hopefully, it will feel better."
Robertson may rejoin Yanks this weekend
ATLANTA -- Right-handed reliever David Robertson will make at least one more relief outing for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday at Rochester, N.Y., and if he fares well, he could rejoin the Yankees for their weekend Interleague series at Nationals Park, manager Joe Girardi said on Monday.Robertson has been on the disabled list since May 15 with a left oblique strain. He pitched one clean inning on Sunday against Louisville, throwing 11 pitches, eight of which were strikes. Robertson will pitch another inning in an afternoon game, also against Louisville.
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"We're just looking for him to have his arm back in shape," Girardi said before the Yankees renewed their rivalry against the Braves on Monday night at Turner Field. "Just making sure he can bounce back if he throws a day. I heard no complaints today, so that's a good thing."Robertson made a couple of appearances as a closer after Mariano Rivera went down for the season with a torn right anterior cruciate ligament early last month. After Robertson was injured, Rafael Soriano assumed the closer's role; the right-hander has nine saves this year but blew one against the Mets in the ninth inning on Sunday at Yankee Stadium in a game the Yankees eventually won, 5-4. Robertson had one save and one blown save during his short stint as Rivera's fill-in. Girardi said that Robertson's reactivation is not contingent on the right-hander making appearances in consecutive games. "We'll make an evaluation after Tuesday, and it's very possible we'll see him this weekend," Girardi said.
Tests will tell whether Gardner needs surgery
ATLANTA -- It's likely the Yankees won't have any prognosis on the return of left fielder Brett Gardner until after he's done with further medical exams this week, manager Joe Girardi said on Monday.Gardner has been on the disabled list with a strained right elbow since making a diving catch at Yankee Stadium against the Twins on April 17. The speedy outfielder has tried to recoup twice but has shut it down both times. Gardner saw Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion on Monday and is scheduled to be examined by Reds orthopedic physician Timothy Kremchek on Thursday. Surgery is a possibility and would delay Gardner's return until well into the second half of the season. He played in nine games and was batting .321 at the time of the injury. Before his club's game against the Braves at Turner Field on Monday night, Girardi said the Yankees have truly missed Gardner. "It changes our offense because of his speed," Girardi said about Gardner. "And it changes our defense because he's going to run down so many balls. He had over 10 assists last year. To me, he was a Gold Glove left fielder. It changes us substantially."
Bruised hand won't knock Pettitte off schedule
ATLANTA -- Yankees veteran lefty Andy Pettitte had a bruise on his left hand to show for grabbing a ground ball in Sunday's 5-4 win over the Mets at Yankee Stadium, but any swelling had subsided and he said on Monday that he's a go for his next start, on Saturday against the Nationals in Washington, D.C."It feels great today," said Pettitte, who was able to play catch in the hours before Monday night's game against the Braves at Turner Field. "I had some swelling yesterday and lost the feel for the baseball. I couldn't grip it, and that was it. I couldn't continue." During the sixth inning of Sunday's game, Pettitte instinctively reacted to Scott Hairston's ground ball up the middle by stabbing at it with his throwing hand. Pettitte fielded the ball cleanly and threw to first base for the out. Pettitte finished the inning but didn't return for the seventh. He underwent X-rays, which were negative, and left the ballpark with his hand wrapped in a bandage. The swelling and bandage were nowhere to be seen on Monday, even though the bruise was. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he was worried after the incident. "Any time a pitcher fields a ball with his bare hand, you have to be concerned," Girardi said. But Girardi agreed with Pettitte's assessment: He's a go for Saturday. "It's always hard to predict what will happen in the next couple of days, but I think he'll make it," Girardi added.
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.