76° Good Afternoon
76° Good Afternoon

Jeter returns from flu with a bang

On Saturday night, Joe Girardi said nine members of the Yankees - including players, coaches and staff - had battled the flu.

The count did not increase Sunday. In fact, one of the ailing returned to the lineup - Derek Jeter, who missed the previous two games.

"I'm ready to go, brother,'' Jeter said. He promptly led off the game with a double off the wall in left-center and scored on Mark Teixeira's two-run double in a three-run first.

Johnny Damon did not start for a second straight game but entered in the sixth inning in a double-switch. "He slept better last night but he told me he still feels a little weak,'' Girardi said. "I saw him walking around our clubhouse in a sweatshirt, which tells me he's not real good.''

After Saturday's game, Girardi said Phil Hughes was showing symptoms, and Teixeira told reporters he was starting to feel sick. But Hughes entered the game in the sixth and Teixeira had a hand in all three runs in the first inning, scoring on a sacrifice fly. At that point, the Yankees had outscored the Mets 32-1 in their last three meetings plus one half-inning.

Matsui out of outfield

Hideki Matsui, with only seven plate appearances in the last eight games entering last night, is happy to see the end of interleague play. Because of Matsui's bad knees, however, Girardi said he isn't likely to have a role beyond DH the rest of the season. "Could our minds change? They could,'' Girardi said, "but our doctors have recommended that he doesn't really do that.''

Molina getting closer

Jose Molina, on the DL since May 8 with a strained left quadriceps, ran the bases before last night's game and will run the bases at Yankee Stadium tomorrow. He said he is at about "95 percent.''

Girardi said playing in rehab games by the end of next week is not out of the question for Molina. "He's not quite ready,'' Girardi said, "but he is closer.''

"It's killing me,'' Molina said of his frustration level. "It's not what you expect when you start the season. But things happen for a reason and you just have to move on and get healthy. The most important thing is being healthy and making sure the leg is healthy.''


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