BALTIMORE -- Andy Pettitte threw about 40 pitches under simulated conditions on Saturday and is hoping to be cleared for more intense activity as he eyes a return to big league duty.

Pettitte sat down three times during the session to simulate the changing of innings at Camden Yards, and said that training on a stationary bicycle has helped him maintain his stamina.

"I feel pretty good," Pettitte said. "I'm trying to push it as far as I can without feeling like I might injure something. I'll see the [team] doctor on Monday, and I feel quite sure that he'll release me to be able to go ahead and go at it."

Pettitte said that pitching coach Larry Rothschild and bullpen coach Mike Harkey have told him that his stuff is "pretty close to where [we] want it to be," which is an encouraging sign.

If the Yankees had the luxury of a full Minor League schedule, Pettitte would likely be eyeing a rehab assignment at this time, but instead they will have to cobble together his program at the big league level.

"We're just kind of going day by day here," manager Joe Girardi said. "He has to see the doctor on Monday, so that's kind of a big deal for us. He still has to cover bases and do all those things, and until he can run, he can't really do that. That's kind of a big day, Monday."

Pettitte said that he expects to be cleared to throw another simulated game of about 60 pitches this upcoming week at Fenway Park, but beyond that, he shrugs when asked about his upcoming program.

"I'll pitch whenever they tell me I'm ready," Pettitte said. "I want to pitch. I'm not going to be stupid, but I didn't think I was going to come back and be as sharp as I am.

"I thought it would take a lot of [bullpen sessions] and some game work, but since my command's been so good, I think everyone's been comfortable running me back out there with these simulated games as quick as we can."

Girardi, reporter have heated discussion

BALTIMORE -- The Yankees were upset after Mark Teixeira was called out at first base on a game-ending play on Saturday, but their emotions didn't cool once they got off the field.

Manager Joe Girardi engaged in a brief shouting match with columnist Joel Sherman of the New York Post in the visiting clubhouse at Camden Yards, and the pair were separated by team personnel.

Girardi conducted his postgame press conference with reporters in a noisy hallway outside the clubhouse and was irked at having to answer repeated questions about CC Sabathia's health, saying at one point, "I'm not lying. One time is sufficient."

The spat between Girardi and Sherman continued into the manager's office, where players overheard the exchange before Sherman exited and the door slammed shut behind him.

Nova reinstated from DL, to work out of 'pen for now

BALTIMORE -- Ivan Nova was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday and will spend the weekend in the Yankees' bullpen.

Nova had been sidelined since Aug. 21 with inflammation in his right rotator cuff, and the Yankees toyed with the idea of having him start on Sunday in place of Freddy Garcia before opting for a bullpen assignment.

"I want to be there helping out the team any way possible," Nova said. "It doesn't matter if it's starting or in the bullpen right now. I just want to be out there."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi did not shoot down the suggestion that Nova could be called upon to start in place of rookie David Phelps during next week's series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

"I don't know. We're not that far ahead," Girardi said. "With some of these tricky weather conditions, I don't know what we'll need. That's why we activated him."

Teixeira makes return to lineup, first base

BALTIMORE -- Despite soggy field conditions, Mark Teixeira returned to action as the Yankees' first baseman on Saturday after missing 10 games with a strained left calf.

"Usually the infield is the driest part of the field," manager Joe Girardi said. "If we feel that it is a problem, we'll change it, but usually the infield is covered. If he was an outfielder, I'd be more concerned."

Teixeira had estimated that his calf felt better than 80 percent on Friday afternoon, but Girardi and head athletic trainer Steve Donohue agreed it was best to give Teixeira one extra day. A setback could spell a season-ending injury for the switch-hitter.

"I think he's pretty close [to 100 percent], but that doesn't mean that there still isn't, in the back of my head, a little bit of a concern until we get through a few days here and make sure he's OK," Girardi said.

Bombers bits

• Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson was given a day off on Saturday, as Ichiro Suzuki started in center field. Girardi pointed to Ichiro's 13-for-39 lifetime numbers against Baltimore starter Joe Saunders; Granderson was 4-for-16 against Saunders.


• Girardi said that relievers Boone Logan and David Robertson are likely not available to pitch in Saturday's game against the Orioles. He added that Jayson Nix, not Eduardo Nunez, is likely to play shortstop for Sunday's series finale.

• On this date in 1982, Don Mattingly made his Major League debut as a defensive replacement in right field during a 10-5 Yankees win over the Orioles. Mattingly got his first at-bat on Sept. 11 of that same year, and logged the first of his 2,153 Major League hits on Oct. 1, a single off the Red Sox's Steve Crawford.