NEW YORK -- When Mark Teixeira arrived at Spring Training, feeling better than he had since right wrist surgery ended his season in 2013, both he and the Yankees had confidence he would have a productive '15 season.
Still, it would have been difficult to imagine such a drastic resurgence. Teixeira delivered a two-run homer in the first inning and a two-run double in the fifth, giving him four RBIs to help spark the Yankees' 5-1 win over the Royals on Tuesday night.
Teixeira now has 14 home runs, second in the American League behind Nelson Cruz. Of Teixeira's 36 hits this season, 23 have gone for extra bases.
"I didn't have any fun the last two years battling through the wrist thing," Teixeira said. "Being able to play baseball healthy again has been a lot of fun. I'm very blessed to be able to go out there and play, to play every single day and not have to worry about every swing hurting -- which it did the last couple years. It's been nice."
Teixeira still ices that wrist after every game, but now as more of a precaution, like a pitcher icing his arm. After a full winter to recover, Teixeira said he does not feel any pain in the wrist, and he is comfortable about it staying healthy over a full season.
"This offseason my health turned around," he said. "The wrist got better, it had the time to heal. The work I put in this offseason with my new trainer, my new diet. I came into Spring Training feeling better than I had in years, so I'm not surprised with the performance. I'm very happy about the health and just very lucky to be able to go out and play every day."
The Yankees, who rebounded from a six-game losing streak to win back-to-back games, have scored 10 runs in the first inning during the last two games against the Royals. That brings New York's total to 50 runs in the first inning this season, the most in the Majors (Detroit raised its total to 41 on Tuesday night against the A's).
"Really big. You want to back up a win like yesterday with another good performance," Teixeira said. "Fourteen runs is nice, but if you lose the next night, you're back to where you started. Getting two in a row is really big for us."
Jamal Collier is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.