By TOM WITHERS AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) _ Derek Jeter pulled within three hits of 3,000
for his career, lining a double in three at-bats against
Cleveland’s Justin Masterson, who shut down the powerful New York
Yankees for eight scoreless innings and led the Indians to a 5-3
win on Wednesday night.
Jeter went 1 for 3 and also drew a walk from Masterson (7-6),
who was backed up by two sensational plays from All-Star shortstop
Asdrubal Cabrera in the eighth.
Rookie Lonnie Chisenhall hit his first career homer for
Cleveland, which took two of three from the AL East leaders. The
Central-leading Indians scored two runs in the first off starter
Phil Hughes (0-2), but spent most of the night wasting scoring
chances. They left the bases loaded twice and stranded 13 runners.
Masterson allowed three hits, struck out six, walked two and got
just his second win since April 26. He turned it over in the ninth
to Cleveland’s bullpen, but reliever Vinnie Pestano couldn’t finish
it out and gave up three runs. Closer Chris Perez came on and got
three outs for his 21st save.
The game ended with Jeter on deck _ just as he is for 3,000.
His quest to become the 28th major leaguer _ and first purebred
pinstriper _ to reach 3,000 will resume on Thursday night against
Tampa Bay at Yankee Stadium, his professional home since 1995. The
famed ballparks, both the new and old versions, have never hosted
any player getting his 3,000th hit.
Jeter would be the first, perhaps fitting for the only player to
reach the milestone having spent his entire career as a member of
Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle, DiMaggio and Berra didn’t get nearly as
close as Jeter, the team’s career hits leader and one of the most
popular players in history. And now, he’s just three solid swings
from standing alone among the Yankees’ legion of Hall of Fame
Hitless in his first three appearances, the 12-time All-Star
doubled with one out in the eighth. He went to third on a sharp
grounder that Cabrera ran down on the first-base side of second,
spun and threw out the speedy Curtis Granderson. Cabrera, who
almost didn’t play because of a sprained right ankle, wasn’t done.
With the Indians shifting right for left-hander Mark Teixeira,
Cabrera went even farther into short right field before making a
sliding stop of a hard-hit grounder. He popped to his feet and
threw out Teixeira, punctuating his second defensive gem in minutes
by pumping his fist.
Jeter came in 5 for 12 in his career against Masterson, but went
0 for 2 with a strikeout and walk before his 479th career double, a
Jeter-esque shot on an inside-out swing to right field.
Jeter had to talk his way into staying in manager Joe Girardi’s
lineup so as not to interrupt his pursuit of 3,000.
Following Tuesday night’s game, Girardi was leaning toward
sitting his captain, who just completed a three-week stint on the
disabled list with a calf injury. Jeter helped persuade Girardi,
who said his talk with Jeter and a night to sleep on his decision
gave him a greater appreciation for the player’s twisted journey to
“He wants to get this done with so he can go on and be Derek
Jeter, not Derek Jeter pursuing 3,000 hits,” Girardi said.
“That’s the sense I got from him. If I was going for 3,000 hits, I
don’t know if I would want a day to think about. I would want to
get back out there.
“I really did sleep on it. And, no, I didn’t dream about it.”
There shouldn’t be any doubt about Jeter playing the next few
days in New York, where fans have been critical of his game over
the past two years. He said he would like to reach the 3,000
plateau at home, and he’ll have four games to get there before the
Hughes was activated before the game to make his first start
since April 14. He had been on the disabled list with shoulder
inflammation. The right-hander allowed two runs and six hits in
Hughes was in trouble right away _ some of it his doing, some of
it by others.
He walked leadoff hitter Michael Brantley in the first and
Cabrera, who left Tuesday night’s game in the fourth inning when he
rolled his ankle, singled. Travis Hafner followed with an RBI
single before Hughes struck out Carlos Santana on a ball in the
dirt that got away from catcher Russell Martin.
Cabrera broke for third on the play, and Martin’s throw was wide
of the bag, scoring Cleveland’s second run.
Chisenhall’s homer made it 3-0 in seventh, and the Indians added
two in the eighth on a bases-loaded walk and Grady Sizemore’s
Sizemore also made a nice defensive play in the fifth, robbing
Nick Swisher of extra bases with a leaping grab at the wall in
NOTES: Yankees LHP Damaso Marte, out all season with an inflamed
left shoulder, threw a bullpen session and RHP Rafael Soriano,
sidelined since May 14 with right elbow inflammation, is scheduled
to work one Thursday. … The Indians will call up former Yankees
minor league RHP Zach McAllister to start Thursday against Toronto.
McAllister came over last season in a trade for Austin Kearns, who
wound up re-signing with the Indians. … When New York released
minor league RHP Kanekoa Texeira to activate Hughes, Girardi joked,
“Make sure you don’t say Mark,” referring to slugging first
baseman Mark Teixeira, whose last name is pronounced the same way.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)