Gardner gets worst of collision with Weeks

Yanks outfielder day to day with bruised jaw, strained neck; Rays infielder removed as precaution

Gardner gets worst of collision with Weeks

NEW YORK -- The Yankees' Brett Gardner and the Rays' Rickie Weeks Jr. were both forced to exit Wednesday's game -- an eventual 8-4 New York win -- at Yankee Stadium after a violent sixth-inning collision at first base.

Gardner appeared to get the worst of the crash, lying still for several moments before walking off under his own power. The Yankees said that Gardner sustained a bruised jaw and a strained neck; general manager Brian Cashman added that Gardner passed his league-mandated concussion protocol testing.

"We all saw it. Two Mack trucks collided," Cashman said. "He's going to be sore, I would expect, even more so than he is now. He's really tough. Having the awareness to get up and still try to get back to the bag and secure the base is pretty impressive stuff, but he got banged up pretty good."

Cashman said that Gardner was excused from the team's Homecoming Dinner on Wednesday evening in Manhattan. Manager Joe Girardi said that Gardner would likely sit out Thursday's game against the Rays, but remains hopeful that Gardner will not require any time on the disabled list.

"Everything that he's been through so far, he's come through pretty good," Girardi said. "He feels like he got kind of lucky in that situation, but he has a pretty good mark underneath his chin."

The play occurred as Gardner tapped a ball back to pitcher Xavier Cedeno, who first looked toward second before making a throw that bounced past Weeks at first. Gardner crashed into Weeks immediately after, with both players falling to the ground.

"I didn't see it, but I know it was a low throw," Weeks said. "I tried to get in front of it. It bounced, got kicked away. I thought he was a step getting past me, but he was a step at the same time. We collided."

The Rays said that Weeks was removed as a precaution due to neck and shoulder soreness. Weeks is a novice first baseman -- Wednesday marked just his third career game at the position -- but Rays manager Kevin Cash said that inexperience was not a factor.

"No, I don't think so," Cash said. "The collision happened because of the throw. Rickie is doing everything he can to catch it and stay on the bag. It doesn't matter who's playing over there. You're probably going to have a collision."

Gardner was replaced by pinch-runner Ronald Torreyes, while Logan Morrison replaced Weeks in the field. Chase Headley scored on the play, giving the Yankees a 4-3 lead at the time, and said that Gardner seemed to take the hit well.

"Talking to him, he seems pretty good, considering," Headley said. "He's got a little egg underneath his chin, but I think he seems like he's all there. Hoping for the best, but he's pretty tough. If anybody's going to be out there tomorrow, it's going to be him."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.