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Girardi gives Ellsbury chance to rest

MLB.com @BryanHoch

ST. PETERSBURG -- Sensing signs of fatigue in Jacoby Ellsbury, Yankees manager Joe Girardi decided to give his center fielder a breather in Monday's series opener against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

Ellsbury has one hit in his last 10 at-bats, representing a cool down after he has batted a sizzling .381 in May and a .341 clip for the season.

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Sensing signs of fatigue in Jacoby Ellsbury, Yankees manager Joe Girardi decided to give his center fielder a breather in Monday's series opener against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

Ellsbury has one hit in his last 10 at-bats, representing a cool down after he has batted a sizzling .381 in May and a .341 clip for the season.

View Full Game Coverage

"He just started to look like he was a little physically tired to me," Girardi said. "I wasn't going to play him 17 days in a row, so I figured this way it's almost like a couple of days off and he'll be back out there tomorrow."

Ellsbury said that Girardi gave him a heads-up on Sunday afternoon that he would be resting as the Yanks open their four-game set at Tropicana Field. He and Brett Gardner have been the catalysts for a Yankees club that arrived in Florida having won 14 of 19 games.

"I thought in Spring Training you could see our talent," Ellsbury said. "Obviously the first few games of the season are always under the microscope a little bit more. I knew we were going to play better and we were going to win some games. It's been nice to have the series we have against division rivals."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

New York Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury