Mark Teixeira says he is well past hamstring injury

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Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira suffered a Grade 2 strain of his right hamstring during the Bomber’s ALCS matchup with the Rangers last October and was forced to sit idle for the first six to eight weeks of the offseason.

It’s December now, of course, and Tex spoke to ESPN New York on Tuesday about his recovery.

Long story short?  Everything is going well and he should be back to full strength by the start of spring training in late February.

“It actually worked out great because I spent the first month of the off-season, which is usually an active rest period for me… I took that month as my rehab month,” Teixeira said. “And then once December 1st came I was lifting weights and running full speed.”

The 30-year-old also battled thumb and toe injuries over the final month or so of the 2010 season and wound up with a relatively unremarkable .256/.365/.481 batting line.  He’s hoping for a 2011 season of complete health and better offensive results.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

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The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.

After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.

Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.