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Saturday, May 17, 2014
Tex's 350th leads Bombers' air show

By Ian Begley

Mark Teixeira
If you had to guess, who would you say is leading baseball in home runs over the past three weeks?

Jose Abreu seems like a logical candidate. Maybe Giancarlo Stanton.

Would it surprise you to learn it's Mark Teixeira?

Teixeira has been crushing the ball since coming off the disabled list April 20. He’s hit nine homers in the past 23 games -- all of which came after April 24. His nine home runs since April 24 are the most in baseball over that span, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Teixeira went deep again Saturday, hitting a two-run shot to right in the first to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. It was the 350th of his career, moving him into a tie for sixth place on the all-time home run list for switch hitters.

“We missed him a lot last year,” Joe Girardi said of Teixeira. “It’s great to have him back.”

Tex’s blast started a power shower in the Bronx on Saturday. The Yanks belted out five home runs in a 7-1 win over Pittsburgh.

“That was great, but I’d like to see us be a little more consistent hitting the ball out of the ballpark,” Teixeira said. “We have to score a little bit more.”

It’s hard to ask for any more production from Teixeira. He has eight homers in 17 games. Zoilo Almonte, Brett Gardner, Alfonso Soriano and Brian McCann also went deep Saturday for the Yanks, who have won three straight and six of 10.

All seven runs scored against Pittsburgh on Saturday came via the home run. It was only the second time since 2011 that at least five different Yankees homered in the same game.

For Teixeira, the rejuvenated swing is a sign that his wrist is healthy. Tex was limited to just 15 games last season due to a torn tendon sheath in his right wrist. The injury left everyone around the Yankees a little unsure of what to expect from Teixeira this season.

“I think until you see [the power], there was going to be concern,” Girardi said.

The manager has seen plenty of power lately, including Teixeira’s four-home-runs-in-five-games surge from April 27 to May 3.

Teixeira seems like he’s still getting used to the surgically-repaired wrist. He said he’s cut back on his swinging before games and is starting to get full range back in the wrist. He also credits a DL stint earlier in the season (calf strain) for giving him some much-needed time to fully heal the wrist.

“The DL stint was the best thing that happened to me,” he said.

Since he’s returned from the DL, Teixeira’s been one of the best things to happen to the Yanks.