"I know what it was like to struggle as a hitter," Joe Girardi said.

KANSAS CITY -- With 15 seasons logged as an MLB player, Yankees manager Joe Girardi knows all about prolonged spells of the doldrums.

Therefore, Girardi can relate to his struggling team, which is scoring just 2.5 runs per game during its current 3-7 slump.

"Believe me, I know what it was like to struggle as a hitter," said Girardi, whose team finished 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position in a 2-1 loss to the Royals on Sunday.

Despite his anemic offense, Girardi won't make any drastic changes yet.

"You can't necessarily just start changing everything," Girardi said. "I mean, you look at what guys have done in the past, you look at what guys are doing this year and you try to put what you feel is the best lineup together every day."

Girardi says that his time in the Majors helped his patience in times like these.

"I know when I would watch games on TV, or broadcast games I'd say: 'Man, that looks easy to hit,' because it's slow and it's on TV and it's big. But when you got up to the plate, it wasn't easy.

"I understand it. I don't want to ever forget how hard it is to play this game. Some guys at times make it look really easy. But it's really difficult."

Ellsbury nursing sore hip, but Yanks not concerned

OAK@NYY: Ellsbury launches three-run blast off Chavez

KANSAS CITY -- Even if the Yankees had played Monday night, Jacoby Ellsbury would not have been in the starting lineup.

New York's center fielder sustained a slight injury to his right hip in the Yankees' 2-1 loss to the Royals on Sunday, and manager Joe Girardi planned on keeping him out of the lineup.

It occurred when Ellsbury took an awkward step around first base, legging out a third-inning double.

"He tripped going around first base a little bit yesterday," Girardi said. "His hip's a little sore. We're not concerned about it."

Ellsbury stayed in for the remainder of the game, and before Monday's postponement, Girardi said that Ellsbury would be back in the lineup Tuesday.

Rainout messes up Tanaka-Iwakuma matchup

OAK@NYY: Tanaka earns win with solid start vs. A's

KANSAS CITY -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi simply pushed his rotation back after Monday's rainout with the Royals.

The postponement ruined a much-anticipated matchup between Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka and Mariners hurler Hisashi Iwakuma.

Tanaka and Iwakuma were both Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles (Nippon Professional Baseball) from 2007-2011. Tanaka and Iwakuma are also currently two of the best pitchers the American League has to offer.

Tanaka leads the American League in ERA (2.02) and WHIP (0.957), while Iwakuma owns a 2.66 ERA.

Monday's scheduled starter, Vidal Nuno, goes Tuesday, Tanaka will throw Wednesday and Chase Whitley will complete the three-game series with the Mariners on Thursday.

"It gives all our guys and extra day," Girardi said. "We're in a long stretch, so that can be good."