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Girardi sits Youkilis, who's battling tight back

TORONTO -- Yankees third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who was forced to leave Saturday's contest in the sixth inning with lower back tightness, was out of the starting lineup for Sunday afternoon's series finale against the Blue Jays.

The 34-year-old said he was able to play, but manager Joe Girardi is exercising caution with the veteran. Girardi said he intended to give Youkilis a day off during the three-game set in Toronto because of the turf at Rogers Centre.

New York plays Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg starting Monday, so upon the conclusion of the club's road trip, it will have played six consecutive games on turf.

"I just want to try to clear it up if we can," Girardi said. "It's good that he feels a lot better, that's a positive thing for us."

Girardi wasn't sure if he would consider using Youkilis as a pinch-hitter, but the third baseman said he'd be available, if needed.

In 16 games with the Yankees, Youkilis is batting .295 with two homers, nine RBIs and an .827 OPS.

With Youkilis sitting out, Jayson Nix was given the start at third base and is batting eighth.

Nix, a former Blue Jays player who appeared in 46 games for with the club in 2011, is batting .172 with a .495 OPS in his second season with the Yankees.

Chris Toman is a contributor to
Read More: New York Yankees, Jayson Nix, Mariano Rivera, Kevin Youkilis