Yankees Insider: Gardner, Teixeira survive brushes with fans

Not only did the Yankees suffer a series sweep to the Blue Jays on Sunday, but two of the most integral players to the team’s success were nearly injured from two fan blunders.

The first incident came in the fourth inning after Jose Bautista blasted a homer to left field. While Bautista was rounding the bases, a frustrated fan threw the ball back onto the field striking Brett Gardner in the back of the head.

“Sure,” said Gardner, when asked if he could’ve been seriously injured, although he didn’t flinch or look back at the stands after he was beaned. “I think any time there’s a matter of balls coming in from the stands or the pitcher or whomever . . . a baseball is a hard object.

“It is what it is,” he said. “I have a hard head, so it’s all good.”

The second incident came in the ninth inning when Mark Teixeira chased a foul pop into the first row of the stands near the Yankees dugout.

Teixeira drifted over and dove into the stands to try to make the catch. He missed the ball but as he lay sprawled out across the first row trying to collect himself, a

fan rushed over and shouldered the first baseman while in pursuit of the ball.

Frustrated, Teixeira forced the fan back and then proceeded to yell something at him before walking back to his position in anger. After the game, Teixeira delivered a message: “Feel free to tell the fans you can insult, but you cannot assault. We know you’re upset. We lost three in a row. We’re sorry but just keep it to insults, not assaults.”

ON THE SPOT

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On Tuesday, the Yankees begin a stretch of 16 straight days with a game. Girardi said he’ll insert a spot starter “at least once.”

Masahiro Tanaka has been given an extra day for 11 of his 12 starts he’s made since he returned from forearm and wrist ailments in early June.

Girardi said the spot starter will likely come from the 25-man active roster. Bryan Mitchell and Adam Warren are the top candidates.

PINEDA OK

Michael Pineda, out with a strained flexor in his right forearm, had no discomfort while playing catch or doing long toss.

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