NEW YORK -- The Yankees fielded an unusual defensive alignment for the top of the ninth inning on Saturday, as Robinson Cano manned shortstop and Francisco Cervelli played second base in a 5-3 loss to the Orioles at Yankee Stadium.
It was Cano's first appearance at a position other than second base after 1,224 games in the Major Leagues, and Cervelli's second career appearance at second base, having played there on July 31, 2011 against Baltimore.
"I think it's weird to see myself at second," Cervelli said. "Cano, I think he can play every position in the infield. You know how it is. He makes everything look easy."
The Yankees were in a tight spot after manager Joe Girardi used Brennan Boesch as a pinch-hitter for shortstop Jayson Nix in the eighth inning. Eduardo Nunez was unavailable to play defense, having suffered a bruised right wrist in Friday's game when he was hit by a pitch.
That left Cano, who last played shortstop regularly in 2002 for Class A Greensboro, as Girardi's best option. Cano said that the last time he took ground balls at shortstop was in Spring Training with Derek Jeter and Nunez.
"I was ready, because at least I take ground balls there with Nuney and Jeter," Cano said. "We always joke around to see who's going to make more errors. If they hit me a ground ball, I was ready."
Girardi hinted at the possible alignment last week in Detroit, when Nunez was sidelined with a bruised right biceps, and proved on Saturday that he was serious.
"I wasn't making it up before," Girardi said. "I knew exactly what I was going to do if we got in that situation."
Chris Stewart strapped on his gear and replaced Cervelli behind the plate, but as it turned out, neither Cano nor Cervelli would have a chance, as Yanks hurler David Robertson induced two outfield fly balls and a strikeout.
Girardi said that being a little short handed at shortstop wasn't as tough of a spot for him as some might think.
"I know what we have," Girardi said. "I've seen Cervy take enough ground balls in the days that I've seen him that he's actually pretty smooth. If you ever watch him do it, he's pretty smooth at it."
Cervelli has also appeared in a big league game at third base, and said he wouldn't hesitate to use his chest to block a ball on the infield, but said he prefers to catch. He said that he could have turned a double play if necessary, though.
"Oh yeah, I can do it," Cervelli said. "I take ground balls all the time. You've got to take it easy and try to do everything slow. When you rush is when you do bad things."
Girardi: Latest A-Rod allegations not an issue
NEW YORK -- The Yankees are aware of the latest round of performance-enhancing-drug-related allegations surrounding Alex Rodriguez, but as far as manager Joe Girardi is concerned, it is not an issue that will affect his clubhouse.
Major League Baseball reportedly believes it has uncovered evidence that a representative for A-Rod arranged to have documents purchased from the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic that has been at the center of an investigation for allegedly supplying PEDs to a small number of well-known players, according to The New York Times.
A spokesperson for Rodriguez has "flatly denied the allegations," and Girardi said that he felt no need to address the team or seek further updates about Rodriguez's situation.
"It's an MLB issue. That's my reaction," Girardi said on Saturday. "Do I get a memo on my desk? No. I don't get a memo on my desk. I think everyone probably hears about it when you watch SportsCenter -- if you choose to watch SportsCenter -- but that's kind of the only way you kind of find out about it."
Rodriguez is continuing to rehab from arthroscopic left hip surgery performed in January and has been completing most of his exercises in New York, intending to rejoin the Yankees' big league lineup at some point after the All-Star break.
He was with the team for its Opening Week homestand against the Red Sox and briefly addressed reporters on Opening Day, but chose not to take part in on-field introductions. Rodriguez appeared in the dugout with the team on Saturday against the Orioles.
"I talked to him. I haven't seen him since last homestand," Girardi said. "He said that he's doing more and more each day. Although it was slow, he actually got on a treadmill the other day, and he was pretty fired up about that."
During the Yankees' opening homestand, players like Robinson Cano and Mariano Rivera said that it had been positive to see Rodriguez supporting the team. Girardi said on Saturday that Rodriguez's attitude seems to be fine.
"He's anxious to get back," Girardi said. "I think he wants to get on the field. That's the area that I think he knows the best and he's anxious to get on it."
Nunez may be available to pinch-run for Yankees
NEW YORK -- Yankees shortstop Eduardo Nunez is not likely to be available for anything more than pinch-running duties until Tuesday, according to manager Joe Girardi.
Nunez suffered a bruised right wrist after being hit by a Miguel Gonzalez changeup in the second inning of New York's 5-2 victory over the Orioles on Friday.
"He is not available, probably, for me today," Girardi said on Saturday. "I could pinch-run him maybe in a pinch. We're probably looking at more like Tuesday. We'll see."
X-rays taken on Nunez's wrist were negative, but he was unable to take the field for his position in the top of the third inning on Friday. Nunez was also sidelined for two starts last week after he was struck on the right biceps by an 88-mph Doug Fister fastball.
With Nunez on the bench, Jayson Nix is expected to continue starting at shortstop for the Yankees.
• Yankees captain Derek Jeter worked out indoors Saturday at the team's training complex in Tampa, Fla. Girardi said that Jeter is "progressing fine" and that "we'll just keep trying to do more each day."
• Left-hander Andy Pettitte is in line to pitch either Tuesday or Wednesday against the D-backs. Pettitte had been scheduled to pitch Sunday, but was scratched due to back spasms. Girardi said that he would check with Pettitte on Saturday to finalize a date for his next start.
• Kevin Youkilis has played in all 10 of the Yankees' games this season. Girardi said that he had been planning on giving Youkilis a day off, but the two rainouts this week in Cleveland took care of the issue.
• On this date in 1978, the Yankees defeated the White Sox, 4-2, on "Reggie!" candy bar day at Yankee Stadium. Reggie Jackson hit a three-run homer in the first inning, and the field was showered with the chocolate and peanut treats, which were given out free to fans attending the game.