(Sports Network) - The New York Yankees are making a push for the playoffs and
are expected to have shortstop Derek Jeter back in the lineup on Monday for
the opener of a three-game series versus the Toronto Blue Jays.
Now the Yankees hope that Jeter can stay there. The 39-year-old has been
limited to just five games this year due to various leg injuries. He began the
campaign on the disabled list due to a left ankle injury, not making his
season debut on July 11.
Jeter played in one game before injuring his right quadriceps, which sidelined
him until July 28. Following another four games, he returned to the DL due to
a right calf ailment, but was able to wrap a three-game rehab assignment
without issue on Saturday.
The Yankees may have to be cautious with Jeter, but at seven games off the
pace in the AL East and 3 1/2 behind the second AL wild card spot, they also
may not have a lot of time.
"He has played three days in a row (in the minors). From everything I
understand, he felt pretty good," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "I don't
know if we can afford to be apprehensive."
The Yankees have won 11 of their last 15 contests, but needed extra innings to
avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.
Alfonso Soriano ripped a one-out double in the 11th inning and stole third
base, leading to Curtis Granderson's sacrifice fly. Mariano Rivera then
retired the Rays in order to secure the 3-2 win and his 38th save of the
"We got a lot of big performances out of a lot of people today," said Girardi.
"That's a great team win."
The Blue Jays return home following a 2-8 road trip, one that included getting
swept in four games at New York. That extended Toronto's season-long struggles
in this series as it has lost 12 of 13 to the Yankees.
The Jays have lost all 10 of the meetings in New York this year and their lone
victory over the Yankees came in Toronto back on April 21.
Toronto snapped a seven-game overall losing streak with Sunday's 2-1 win over
Houston, but needed a late surge to do so. Moises Sierra drew a bases-loaded
walk in the ninth to tie the game and Ryan Goins brought home the winner with
a groundout in the frame.
Mark Buehrle worked the first eight innings, scattering seven hits and one run
while fanning seven for the victory. Casey Janssen walked two and gave up a
hit in the ninth, but held on for his 23rd save.
"Wins like that have been hard to come by," said Toronto manager John Gibbons.
"We were in so many games, all except the first two here, but we came up
short. But to win the final one, it always feel good."
Gibbons will send R.A. Dickey to the hill for tonight's opener and the right-
handed knuckleballer has just one victory over his last nine starts.
Dickey is coming off a 4-2 loss at the Yankees on Wednesday, allowing four
runs on six hits and two walks while striking out nine over eight innings. He
was also part of history, giving up a first-inning single to Ichiro Suzuki
that was the Yankee outfielder's 4,000th professional hit.
"What an incredible achievement," Dickey said of Suzuki. "And the manner in
which he's done it is equally as impressive ... just the longevity, the
endurance, the durability. It couldn't have happened to a more professional
Dickey, who logged at least seven innings for a fourth straight start, fell to
9-12 with a 4.49 earned run average in 27 starts this year. The 38-year-old
has lost both of his starts versus the Yankees in 2013 and is 3-3 against them
lifetime with a 3.44 ERA in 12 games (6 starts).
The Yankees counter with Phil Hughes, who stands just 4-12 with a 4.88 ERA in
24 starts on the season and has not won since July 2. He is 0-5 with a 5.63
ERA in eight starts since, but did turn in a quality outing last time out.
The 27-year-old righty pitched one game of a doubleheader versus the Blue Jays
last Tuesday and did not factor into a 3-2 win. Hughes, though, allowed just
two runs on seven hits and two walks over six innings.
Hughes is 5-5 with a save and 4.80 ERA in 25 career meetings with the Blue
Jays, including 18 starts.
The Sports Network