NEW YORK -- Mark Teixeira spent Sunday smacking line drives to all parts of Yankee Stadium -- and the balls were dropping in for hits.
It must be May.
Teixeira tied a career high with four hits, including a two-run double, to continue his emergence from an April slump and back another dominant performance by Phil Hughes in the New York Yankees' 12-3 rout of the Chicago White Sox.
"You try to go out there and put together a good season. No one's going to judge me on one month," said Teixeira, who is 6 for 9 in two May games to raise his average to .189.
For the second straight season in New York, Teixeira was a bust on offense in April. He followed a .200 first month in 2009 with an even uglier .136 this year. The slow starts confound manager Joe Girardi.
"I wish I knew" what caused it, Girardi said.
Alex Rodriguez was given the day off after he was lifted for a pinch runner in the ninth inning Saturday, but Girardi said it was just a day of rest.
ESPNNewYork.com, though, reported general manager Brian Cashman said Rodriguez had a "muscle-related" injury to his right leg.
When told of Cashman's assessment, Girardi said, "He's a little bit stiff. That's going to happen to all of our guys. When you play every inning of every game you're going to feel something, but that doesn't mean that he's injured."
Girardi said A-Rod will be in the lineup Monday night against Baltimore.
Robinson Cano had a three-run homer and a double to raise his average to .387, Nick Swisher added a two-run shot and Brett Gardner hit a rare homer to help the Yankees take two of three from Chicago. Nick Johnson added a two-run double as New York set season highs for runs and hits (16).
"It was good to see everyone contribute today," Girardi said. "Tex had four hits, and that's good. Nick hit the ball hard today and that's good -- and that's a great sign."
Hughes (3-0) stymied the White Sox, limiting them to four hits over seven scoreless innings. The right-hander, who won the No. 5 starter job this spring, had not allowed more than three hits in any of his first three starts. He struck out six while walking one.
"The best guy we faced maybe all season long except for the guy in Toronto," manager Ozzie Guillen said, referring to Blue Jays lefty Ricky Romero, who took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the White Sox. "But Hughes had unusual stuff today. He threw really good."
Gardner started in center field because Curtis Granderson went on the 15-day disabled list before the game with a strained left groin. Girardi said Granderson could be out for a month.
The speedy Gardner gave the Yankees their first run when his two-out grounder in the second deflected off the glove of a lunging Konerko at first base and spun away from second baseman Gordon Beckham. The infield single scored Cano, who led off with a double.
In the fourth, Gardner hit his first homer since June 26, 2009, at the Mets, a span of 167 at-bats. It came a batter after Mark Kotsay caught Marcus Thames' drive near the top of the right-field wall.
"That's my one for the year," Gardner said.
The Yankees added three runs against a struggling Mark Buehrle (2-4) in the fifth. After Teixeira and Swisher singled, Cano reached low to pull his ninth homer and make it 5-0.
Swisher, who batted fourth with A-Rod out, followed with a two-run drive off Tony Pena in the sixth, and the Yankees added five runs in the seventh.
"I loved hitting behind Tex -- it's a different month," Swisher said.
Guillen was ejected during Gardner's at-bat in the seventh after a prolonged argument over balls and strikes with plate umpire Dan Iassogna. It was the second time Guillen has been tossed this season and the 21st time in his career.
"I was protecting A.J. [Pierzynski]," Guillen said of his catcher.
Derek Jeter walked to force in a run, and Johnson and Teixeira had two-run doubles to make it 12-0.
Buehrle has stumbled at the start of the season. He allowed five runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings, and since throwing seven scoreless innings on opening day he hasn't allowed less than four runs in any of his next five starts.
"It's obviously frustrating. It's a combination of things, not making good pitches," Buehrle said.
- Beckham is in an 0-for-11 slide with seven strikeouts.
- Teixeira has had 18 four-hit games. The last came on Sept. 19, 2009.
- Konerko went 6 for 19 with four homers and 10 RBI on the 2-4 road trip.
- Guillen told reporters he was up until nearly 3 a.m. watching news of the failed bomb attack that took place just two blocks from the team's hotel in Times Square on Saturday night.