Derek Jeter OK despite muscle spasm, provides spark at plate
Yankees captain Derek Jeter suffered a muscle spasm in his right shoulder during a 7-3 victory over Boston Sunday night at Fenway Park, but he said after the game that the injury is not a problem and that he plans to play in Tuesday night's All-Star Game in Kansas City.
"It's not a big deal," Jeter said. "If it was, I'm sure I would have come out of the game."
Jeter went 3-for-5 and scored the first of two Yankees runs in the first inning. But he also dropped a pop-up by Cody Ross with two outs in the first inning, allowing Pedro Ciriaco to cut Boston's deficit to 2-1.
"I wish I had a good story for you, say, a bird hit it or something," Jeter said. "But it basically was a pop-up, and I dropped it. I think I've done it one other time in my career that I can remember, in Anaheim.
"I had two hands, and it didn't go in the glove or my hand. That's probably the most embarrassing thing that can happen to a player on defense. I dropped it, but [Yankees starter Ivan] Nova did a good job getting out of it."
Asked when he first experienced the problem in his right shoulder, which was iced immediately after the game, Jeter took the opportunity to poke fun at himself. "Right when the pop-up came," he said, drawing a big laugh from a crowd of reporters. "No, it was after that."
Pressed once more on whether there is any chance he might skip the All-Star Game to rest the shoulder, Jeter smiled and said, "No, not at all."
"He was getting a cramp in his shoulder,'' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after the game. "It's a little trap [trapezius] thing. I'm sure he'll be fine by Friday."
A Jeter mistake in the field that wasn't ruled an error led to the second Boston run in the third. Charging a soft grounder by Ciriaco, he couldn't make the transfer and dropped the ball. Ciriaco made it 3-2 when David Ortiz followed with a double to left-center. Jeter also failed to throw out Nick Punto later in the inning on an infield single.
But Jeter was the spark for an offense that totaled 14 runs in the first inning in the four games. The Yankees scored five runs in the first inning of Friday's game, four Saturday afternoon, three Saturday night and two Sunday nightoff Jon Lester. Jeter singled to lead off every game except the Saturday nightcap, when he reached on an error.
Jeter entered Sunday night's game batting .388 while leading off in the first inning in 2012. He flared a single into rightfield, moved to second on a single by Curtis Granderson and scored his fourth first-inning run of the series when Mark Teixeira doubled. That run was the 1,816th of Jeter's career, tying him for 16th all-time with Red Sox Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski and giving the locals another reason to boo him.
"My job is to get on base, get hits and score some runs," he said of his first-inning approach. "Sometimes you do them in bunches. I wasn't aware of the first-inning . Maybe I can get them to change the scoreboard to say '1' every time I go up to the plate. But I don't think about it. I just try to get good pitches to get some hits. When you feel good, the hits will come."