TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Yankees manager Joe Girardi is tweaking his lineup over the final two weeks of exhibition games and one of the first adjustments is having Brett Gardner hit leadoff against Tampa Bay.

Girardi moved Gardner from ninth to first in the posted lineup for Thursday night’s game with the Rays, with Derek Jeter dropping from the top spot to second.

Jeter batted first 137 times last season. The Yankees captain was in the two-hole on 18 occasions.

Gardner was first in the lineup in the other 25 games during 2010. The outfielder, who hit in five different spots overall last year, got his most appearances (56) in the ninth position.

Girardi has said he would do some different things with the lineup just to see how it looks.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  1. Markstripes says:

    I feel as though Gardner is much better suited to lead off than Jeter, who is the perfect number 2 hitter. If Gardner gets on base, his speed is so disruptive that it unravels pitchers, leaving plenty of room for Jeter to shoot the ball to right field, which he does as well as anyone. Also, Jeter is excellent at forcing opposing pitchers to run their pitch count up.

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