Game 120: Yankees at Royals
August 16, 2011 – Kauffman Stadium – 8:10 p.m. ET (MY9, WCBS 880 AM)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Andruw Jones DH
Russell Martin C
Eduardo Nunez 3B
Brett Gardner LF
Pitching: Ivan Nova RHP (11-4, 3.85)
Alex Gordon LF
Melky Cabrera CF
Billy Butler DH
Eric Hosmer 1B
Jeff Francoeur RF
Johnny Giavotella 2B
Salvador Perez C
Mike Moustakas 3B
Alcides Escobar SS
Pitching: Danny Duffy LHP (3-6, 4.97)
HE’S EL CAPITAN AGAIN: The numbers say that Derek Jeter has been a much-improved hitter since returning from the disabled list in early July, and the Yankees captain has a pretty good idea why that might be.
While taking a time-out from the season to rehab his strained right calf, Jeter linked with instructor Gary Denbo at the team’s training complex in Tampa, Fla., working on staying back on the ball a touch longer.
“It sounds funny, but when you’re hitting, you have to let the ball come to you,” Jeter said. “If your head moves, you have a lot less time.”
Since being activated on July 4, Jeter is batting .326 (45-for-138) entering play on Tuesday, with eight doubles, two triples, two homers and 24 RBIs in 34 games.
A-ROD LAUDS THOME: Alex Rodriguez was the most recent entrant into the 600-homer club before Jim Thome joined with two homers last night, doing it on Aug. 4, 2010 against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium.
Rodriguez is with the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees on a Minor League rehabilitation assignment and released a statement on Tuesday through the club.
“Jim is one of the easiest players of our generation to root for,” Rodriguez said. “It’s hard to overshadow 600 home runs, because it is a tremendous accomplishment and an exclamation point on a career bound for the Hall of Fame.
“But to me, the way he has treated the game — and the people in and around it — will always be the first thing that I think of when I think of Jim Thome. In so many ways, he is a legend of our game.”
THIS AND THAT: RHP Freddy Garcia (cut right index finger) threw a bullpen on Tuesday, but did not throw his split-fingered fastball, tossing only fastballs and sliders instead. The Yankees are considering having him throw a full bullpen on Thursday in Minneapolis, which would line him up to possibly pitch Saturday or Sunday against the Twins. … Derek Jeter said he was bunting on his own in the first inning on Monday, sacrificing Brett Gardner to second base. Gardner was stranded there, but manager Joe Girardi had no problem with the bunt. … Girardi said that he might have A-Rod serve as the DH on Thursday. Rodriguez is slated to play third base both on Tuesday and Wednesday at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.