NEW YORK -- Mark Teixeira's hacking cough was so violent and persistent on Tuesday, first-base umpire Jim Reynolds asked the Yankees slugger if he needed to stop the game at one point.
Teixeira took that as a sign, believing it might be time to get a professional opinion. The first baseman saw a chest specialist on Wednesday at New York Presbyterian Hospital and has been treated for inflamed airways in his chest.
"I had one of my episodes in [the doctor's] office, and she goes, 'Oh, I know what that is,'" Teixeira said. "It's so inflamed. Basically, I have no air coming up and down, which is why I'm choking and not being able to talk and that kind of stuff."
Teixeira has been fighting illness since the Yankees' Welcome Home Dinner on April 12, which is where he believes his troubles started. He had a CT scan and breathing tests on Wednesday and said that he is 100 percent healthy other than the inflammation.
"I caught something at that Welcome Home Dinner," Teixeira said. "That caused a cough, and because of our travel schedule and the weather's been bad and having to play every day, I just never got over the cough part of it. It just got worse and worse, to the point that my chest is basically closed up now."
Teixeira said that he has had to cut back some of his workouts and that he has been winded more easily when running, though he hasn't had to ask out of the lineup.
To help open his chest, Teixeira was prescribed a steroid, which he said did not have to be cleared with Major League Baseball -- "It's not anabolic," Teixeira laughed.
"It's good news, because that's the only thing we haven't tried," Teixeira said. "We've literally tried everything else."
Mo certain Robertson has drive to close
NEW YORK -- Mariano Rivera may own a Major League-record 608 saves, but on Tuesday night, he was just like any other white-knuckled Yankees fan in front of a television set.
Rivera said that he saw David Robertson's first save of the season from the comfort of his Westchester, N.Y., home, but the experience of watching someone else handle his ninth inning was nerve-wracking for the 42-year-old closer.
"I was home, right on the couch," Rivera said. "I was sweating and screaming to Robby on the TV. It was good, though. It was difficult, but it was good at the same time, knowing that we won the game. That's what we wanted."
Robertson loaded the bases but struck out the Rays' Carlos Pena looking for the final out, preserving the Yankees' 5-3 win for his first save of the season and the fourth of his Major League career.
"He has tremendous will and desire to get it done, to do the job," Rivera said. "I think he has done a tremendous job. The situation he was in yesterday, it was not an easy situation, but he came through. That's what I have seen from him before.
"He is capable to do that. We need to work on little things, but that's minor; that's things that we can fix. But you cannot fix heart. ... Robby is capable."
If cleared, Chavez may return on Thursday
NEW YORK -- Eric Chavez is hoping to be activated from the seven-day concussion disabled list for Thursday night's game against the Rays and is waiting to hear from Major League Baseball if he has been cleared to play.
Chavez said that he took an ImPACT test to gauge his recovery and that there was only one part of his exam that turned out questionable. Chavez was able to resume baseball activities on Wednesday.
"Most of it looked really good, and with the concussions that are going on, they're really taking a lot of precautions," Chavez said. "If [the administrator] says I have to retake the test, I'll probably do it tomorrow. I'll just keep taking it until I pass."
Chavez suffered a concussion on May 2 while diving for a ball in the field, and he later left the game with what has been described as whiplash.
"The way the doctor explained it to me, my head was tilted a little bit and I kind of had a whiplash reaction," Chavez said. "He says if your neck is turned, you're more likely to have a concussion than if it's straight on."
Chavez said that he believes he had two previous concussions -- one playing football and one as a younger player, when the catcher hit him in the head with a throw back to the mound. Chavez was also tested for a concussion in Spring Training 2008 with the Athletics.
Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner, on the disabled list with a strained right elbow, is scheduled to play in his second Minor League rehab game on Wednesday for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and could be activated on Thursday.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he would be reluctant to use Robertson for three consecutive days in the closer's role, which would open the way for Rafael Soriano to pick up some save opportunities.
Girardi said that Joba Chamberlain, on the DL with a dislocated right ankle, is continuing to play catch and do range-of-motion exercises. There is no set date on when Chamberlain will increase throwing.
On this date in 1999, Mike Stanton made his first career start after 552 consecutive relief appearances to begin his career. Stanton received a no-decision against the Mariners, throwing four innings in a 6-0 Yankees victory.