SEATTLE (AP) -Jason Giambi returned to the starting lineup for the first time in four games Saturday night, wearing flat-soled, sneaker-like shoes to better cushion the spur near his left heel.
He batted fifth as the designated hitter against righty Miguel Batista, against whom Giambi is hitless in his last 10 at-bats.
``I told them, let's go today,'' Giambi said 3 1/2 hours before the first pitch and before a final test in batting practice.
Giambi will wear the softer-soled shoes until orthotics designed to relieve pressure on the heel arrive later this week. The inserts for the cleats were custom-fitted in New York last week.
``They think I should be able to get it back to where I was before,'' Giambi said. ``Taking care of it, getting treatment, taping it up a little bit.''
He said he expects to be able to play first base again when the Yankees meet the Mets at Shea Stadium next weekend.
``The doctor said that until I get it more under control, try to be in my shoes as much as I can,'' Giambi said. ``The biggest thing is going to be being in my cleats, though. Shoes are fine.''
Yankees manager Joe Torre said he would rely on Giambi to tell him when he cannot play while he continues to get daily treatment on the spur. Torre has the same all-ears approach with leadoff man Johnny Damon, who is battling through calf cramps.
``They've been around enough that they are going to tell you,'' Torre said.
Giambi has been getting cross-country advice from an old friend on his latest footwear. Eric Chavez, his former teammate with the Oakland Athletics, dealt with plantar fasciitis in his foot a few years ago and fell in love with basketball sneakers. Chavez eventually had spikes put into the soles of his hoops shoes and played in those.
``He thinks that the way these orthotics are, that they should really help,'' Giambi said.
He said he believes the spur began paining him after he developed cramps in his lower left leg during a game May 3 at Texas.
``I didn't even know I had it,'' Giambi said.
The Yankees entered Saturday having scored two runs in their last 22 innings.

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