Derek Jeter finally made his triumphant return to the Yankees after missing 94 games going back to Game 1 of the ALCS last season and helped them beat the Royals 8-4 at the Stadium Thursday afternoon before being eventually removed with tightness in his right quad.
While DH’ing, Jeter swung at the first pitch in his first at bat back and picked up an infield single to third that he eventually came around to score on. He later ground out to short, then second, then third and was finally lifted in the eighth inning for a pinch hitter.
Jeter and his manager Joe Girardi both seemed to think the injury wasn’t a big deal after the game, but that’s what the Yankees always do. He’s going to go for tests and it’s possible he could miss the rest of the games through the All-Star Break. We won’t know until he gets to the ball park on Friday the extent of it.
It was great seeing Jeter back, the Stadium certainly had more energy and the team sure seemed like it had more energy too. The Yankees fell into a 3-0 and then a 4-1 hole right away, but both times answered right back to make it 3-1 then 4-3 in the first two innings.
The Yankees took the lead in the fifth inning when Lyle Overbay singled in two runs and Zoilo Almonte and Eduardo Nunez each picked up a RBI-single to make it 7-4. They tacked on another run on a RBI-ground out by Jeter in the sixth to help pad the lead.
• Andy Pettitte started and like he has usually done lately, he didn’t pitch well. His line: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0 HR. He’s now allowed at least three runs in seven of his last eight starts. There is a noticeable trend of teams successfully bunting on him which helps create big innings. He now has a 4.39 ERA, a 6.5 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 98.1 innings and 16 starts on the season.
• Austin Romine went 2-for-4. It was his first multi-hit game since June 3rd and only his third three-hit game of the season. He raised his triple-slash to .153/.164/.208 and is still waiting for his first walk in the MLB. His RBI-double in the second inning was as big as any hit in the game.
• Zoilo Almonte had a much needed game where he went 2-for-4 with a RBI. He had hit just 3-for-19 in his previous six games. He get thrown out at third to end the inning in a big baserunning mistake. It was like he wasn’t paying attention to what was going on in the situation at all and was lucky that Lyle Overbay stepped on home plate a second before he was thrown out.
• You want strikeouts? Shawn Kelley and David Robertson struck out five batters between them in 2.1 shutout innings. Boone Logan pitched a 1-2-3 ninth. The bullpen is awesome this season (especially when Joba doesn’t pitch).
• Travis Ishikawa was designated for assignment before the game to make room on the roster for Jeter. He barely got to play while he was here, but, coincidentally or not, Lyle Overbay went on a nice little .250/.333/.625 in five games while he was here including his 1-for-3 day Thursday.
• Now that Jeter is back, you are definitely going to want to pick up your Yankees tickets.
Photo credit: (July 10, 2013 - Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America).