NEW YORK -- Mark Teixeira hit a ball as well as he could hit it. He still was not sure if it actually was going to go over the wall, but when it landed in the first row of the right-field seats, he pumped his fist.
It was a hit that Teixeira waited three months to get and his grand slam with one out in the bottom of the third inning highlighted a 7-4 victory by the New York Yankees over the Cleveland Indians on Monday night at Yankee Stadium.
"You just hope that it sneaks over the wall," Teixeira said. "I can't hit it much better but it didn't get up in the air."
"I think it's going to take Tex some time to catch up in a sense," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "These guys have all been playing two months and he's been playing three or four days. I think his at-bats have been good and Tex is an RBI machine and we need that."
It was Teixeira's first home run since Oct. 1 against Boston and the kind of hit he hopes can get him into the rhythm that he constantly talks about, especially after he was 1-for-9 in his first three games back from the disabled list following a broken right wrist.
"You want to get into a rhythm. I've kind of said it a few times, the rhythm of just all right you're seeing pitches, knowing that you can let it go, you can drive the ball and you can play every day," Teixeira said. "This is my sixth game in a row, which is a good sign for the wrist and the rest of the body."
"The injury he had was probably a little bit scary and to be out there playing after having to sit down for two months, you could tell how excited he was," Girardi said.
The Yankees seemed to get in an offensive rhythm again as they won for the fourth time in nine games since May 20. In their previous 12 games, they had batted .219 and scored fewer than five runs in nine consecutive games, including one run in their last two games against Boston.
"We needed this win," Teixeira said. "We've had a rough enough streak the last week and a half, two weeks as it is, so we needed this win tonight and that grand slam was good for me and good for the team."
Besides Teixeira's eighth career grand slam and first since Sept. 28, 2011 against Tampa Bay's David Price, Travis Hafner also homered.
Hafner hit his first home run in two weeks -- and just his second hit in 23 at-bats -- when he connected off former teammate Justin Masterson (8-4) with one out in the seventh inning.
"Hopefully that gets us going," Hafner said. "We have a bunch of good hitters in here and just kind of a down week for us. A game like today, hopefully we can get us swinging the bats well and turning the corner."
In between home runs, the Yankees lost a 4-1 lead in the fifth and regained their lead an inning later on Brett Gardner's two-out, two-strike single. That was set up by Austin Romine's infield hit that went off Masterson's back and subsequent stolen base.
Gardner's hit made a winner out of Shawn Kelley (3-0), who worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth and struck out two in the sixth. Joba Chamberlain worked a scoreless seventh, David Robertson did the same in the eighth and Mariano Rivera notched his 20th save.
Yankees starter Andy Pettitte failed to record his 250th career victory as he allowed four runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. That was the same distance he went May 14 against Seattle, but this time he appeared to have no issues with his back.
"I felt good," Pettitte said. "First of all, it was just a good win for us obviously, it's so good about the team winning and putting some runs up on the board. As far as me personally, it's frustrating because we finally get some runs on the board and you give the lead back. You're never going to be real happy about that but I was very thankful and you could smile a little bit about it when you get the "W."
Masterson allowed a season-high seven runs and nine hits over 6 1/3 innings. It came three weeks after he tossed a complete-game four-hitter in a 1-0 win against the Yankees on May 13 at Cleveland.
Masterson also had a lapse in judgment when he cut off the throw from center fielder Michael Bourn, allowing Romine to score the second run on Gardner's hit.
"He left a first-pitch fastball (up) and let Teixeira get his arms extended, so that's a big blow," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. "Then when he gave up the two (in the sixth), he made a rare mistake of judgment and it probably cost us a run there. He knows it. He feels worse than anybody."
Masterson's poor outing was not the only problem for the Indians, who dropped their sixth straight road game. Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is heading back to Cleveland Tuesday and likely will land on the disabled list after straining his right quad.
NOTES: 1B Lyle Overbay made his first start in the outfield after 1,272 career games. He spent most of spring training playing the outfield with the Red Sox but did not really do any work there with the Yankees until third base coach/outfield coordinator Rob Thomson suggested it in batting practice Saturday. Overbay said that the last time he appeared in the outfield was a 20-game stint in the minor leagues with Arizona in 2001. ... To make room for Pettitte, OF Brennan Boesch was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Besides spending time in the outfield, Boesch also will play some first base in the minors. ... New York C Chris Stewart missed his second straight game while recovering from the effects of dehydration from catching Saturday night. ... Cleveland RHP Chris Perez, who is dealing with tendinitis in his right rotator cuff, went an eighth straight day without throwing. He might be cleared to resume a throwing program in two to three days. ... Stubbs snapped an 0-for-17 skid with a leadoff double in the fifth.