Yanks Lose To Indians 6-3 In Jeter’s Return To Lineup
CLEVELAND (AP) — The New York Yankees got one certain Hall of Famer back. The other couldn’t play.
Derek Jeter’s calf was fine.
Mariano Rivera’s arm was sore.
Jeter went 0 for 4 in his first game in three weeks, and Rivera was not available to close because of a sore muscle as the Yankees were beaten 6-3 on Monday night by the Cleveland Indians, who got a three-run homer from Austin Kearns in the seventh inning off A.J. Burnett.
Jeter was back at shortstop and again atop manager Joe Girardi’s batting order for the first time since June 13, when he went on the disabled list with a calf injury. New York’s captain went 0 for 4 and remained six shy of becoming the first Yankees player to reach 3,000 hits.
“I felt fine, no problems, no issues,” Jeter said. “I was nervous at the beginning, almost like it was opening day again. It was just nerves. Three weeks is definitely a long time to be out. I felt better as the game went on.”
Jeter is expected to play again on Tuesday. Rivera, on the other hand, is only hoping he feels better.
Following the game, Girardi revealed that Rivera couldn’t pitch because of a sore triceps muscle. Both Girardi and Rivera downplayed the discomfort.
“I’m not concerned at all,” the 41-year-old Rivera said. “It was sore today. I got a lot of treatment. Hopefully, I’ll be able to pitch tomorrow.”
Girardi’s bullpen was short and not just because of Rivera, who blew a save Sunday against the Mets. Luis Ayala, who had worked three of the last four games, was also unavailable.
Girardi was hoping Burnett could get through the seventh and possibly come out for the eighth. Girardi said David Robertson would have been his closer in a save situation.
Girardi said there are no immediate plans to have Rivera get medical tests.
“He’s had issues he’s worked on before,” Girardi said. “He always seems to bounce back. If it goes on a few days, you get a little bit more concerned. Mo has had to fight through things to stay around this long. That’s what he does.”
Asked if the aches and pains may be the result of being 41, Rivera, joked: “You see 21s with soreness.”
Josh Tomlin (10-4) didn’t allow the Yankees a hit until the seventh, and gave up just two runs and three hits. The Indians’ right-hander improved to 7-1 at home and also became the only pitcher since 1919 to go at least five innings in each of his first 29 career appearances.
“He was able to hold down that amazing lineup,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “He doesn’t back down from anybody.”
With the Yankees leading 2-1 in the seventh, Kearns, who has been in a slump all season, hit a 1-0 pitch from Burnett (8-7) the opposite way to right for his first homer since Aug. 22, when he wore Yankee pinstripes. Kearns came up batting only .192 with two RBIs in a part-time role.
He was 1 of 11 against Burnett — a grand slam as a rookie in 2002 for Cincinnati.
“It’s a funny game,” Kearns said.
Carlos Santana hit a two-run homer in the eighth for Cleveland, finally back home after a nine-game interleague trip.
Chris Perez pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 20th save in 21 tries as the Indians improved to 25-14 at Progressive Field, which was sold out for the third time in 2011.
Curtis Granderson hit his 23rd homer for the Yankees, who have lost two straight after a seven-game winning streak.
Trying to become the first pitcher in 53 years to no-hit the Yankees by himself, Tomlin retired 18 straight entering the seventh and was poised to deliver a Fourth of July spectacular to a rare sellout crowd that included roughly 15,000 very vocal Yankees fans.
However, Mark Teixeira broke up Tomlin’s no-hit bid with a leadoff single to center. Tomlin buckled down and struck out Alex Rodriguez before Robinson Cano reached on a lucky infield single that caromed off the plate and stayed fair as it dribbled down the third-base line. Cano laughed as he crossed first base.
Nick Swisher followed by jumping on the first pitch and splitting the outfielders with a double that rolled to the wall, scoring Teixeira and Cano to make it 2-0.
Burnett couldn’t hold the lead. He gave up a one-out walk in the seventh to Grady Sizemore but then struck out Orlando Cabrera. The right-hander walked rookie Lonnie Chisenhall and was ahead of Shelley Duncan 0-2 before he fouled off four pitches and dumped a 2-2 pitch into right for an RBI single.
Up came Kearns, who drove an outside fastball over the fence in right, giving the Indians a 4-2 lead.
Burnett was more upset with the walks than the homer.
“You can’t do that,” he said. “He was probably looking away and I threw a fastball off the plate. They made some good at-bats that inning, but it was the two walks that did me in. I threw the ball well. Without the two walks, that’s a solo shot.”
The Yankees got within 4-3 on Granderson’s shot to right off reliever Vinnie Pestano.
Jeter’s calf got its first major league test almost immediately.
He topped Tomlin’s second pitch toward third and raced down the first-base line as Chisenhall was booting the easy grounder for an error. In his second at-bat, Jeter flied out to center. He grounded to third in the sixth and lined to shortstop in the eighth.
“He looked OK,” Girardi said. “He lined out against a tough guy (Vinnie Pestano) in his last at-bat. He looked good to me.”
Girardi hasn’t decided if Jeter will play shortstop on Tuesday.
At this point, he’s not sure about Rivera either.
Notes: The Yankees haven’t been no-hit by one pitcher since Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm in 1958. Six Houston pitchers did it to the Yankees in 2003. … Burnett has gone at least five innings in each of his 18 starts. … Swisher is batting .305 with eight homers and 28 RBIs in his last 35 games. … The Yankees are 22-15 on the road. … To make room for Jeter, the Yankees optioned outfielder Chris Dickerson to Triple-A.