BOSTON -- Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter returned to the starting lineup on Tuesday against the Red Sox after missing two games with a bruised right kneecap.
"I talked to him last night about it and said, 'Unless I hear from you, I'm going to put you in the lineup,'" Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "And when he got here, I said, 'I didn't hear from you.'"
Jeter suffered the injury on a foul ball in New York's 2-0 loss to the Orioles on Sunday, in the first game of a day-night doubleheader. He was moving around better on Monday and said he expected to play in Boston.
The series at Fenway Park comes at a crucial time for the Yankees, who entered play on Tuesday trailing the Red Sox by 1 1/2 games for the division lead in the American League East.
"Obviously when the number of games dwindle down, especially when we're trying to catch them now, the games are important because you don't have to look at the scoreboard," Jeter said.
Cortisone shot likely to delay A-Rod
BOSTON -- Alex Rodriguez had a cortisone shot administered to treat a Grade 1 sprain of his left thumb and is not likely to play this week against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Rodriguez was examined in New York on Monday by team hand specialist Melvin Rosenwasser, who diagnosed the sprain and administered the shot.
"They told me basically to stay off it, to pretty much do lower-body stuff, stay away from the bat for a day or two," Rodriguez said.
"The one thing is it's so frustrating to come here. It's the last time we come here for the regular season. It hurts just sitting on the sidelines, just watching."
Rodriguez originally hurt the thumb backhanding a Joe Mauer infield single on Aug. 21 at Target Field and aggravated it in the first game of a day-night doubleheader against the Orioles on Sunday.
The injury is the third notable one involving Rodriguez this year. He also had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee and has been battling soreness in his left shoulder.
"This year's been the most frustrating of my career because I've had three different things going on at some point or another," Rodriguez said.
"But my body feels really good. And when I'm healthy, I feel like I can do things that I did in April and in Spring Training. It's probably as good of baseball as I've played in a long time. If my health is there, I can play through pretty much anything, so long as I don't re-injure it."
Rodriguez said that the thumb felt "a little sore" after taking ground balls at third base off the bat of infield coach Mick Kelleher. Rodriguez had his thumb wrapped in the clubhouse before batting practice.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he potentially could use Rodriguez as a pinch-runner or to play defense in the Red Sox series, but it is unlikely he will play a major role.
"Would I be surprised if he didn't play in this series? I wouldn't be," Girardi said. "Am I hopeful? Yes, that we'll get him tomorrow or maybe the next day. But I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't have him."
Rodriguez said he isn't giving up on playing in the Boston series, but a return on Friday against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium is more probable.
"It's miserable," Rodriguez said. "It's painful to come here and you have just a perfect day to play baseball at Fenway Park. It's one of my favorite places to play."
Teixeira among few to reach power milestone
BOSTON -- Mark Teixeira has proudly reached some rarified statistical air, having logged at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs for an eighth consecutive season.
Teixeira plated his 100th run of the year with a double in Monday's 3-2 victory over the Orioles, becoming just the fifth player in history -- and the first switch-hitter -- to have 100 RBIs in at least eight of his first nine seasons.
"It's a number that is great to get to every single year," Teixeira said. "I can't believe it's been eight years in a row. I'm very blessed to stay healthy and stay consistent."
Al Simmons (9), Albert Pujols (9), Ted Williams (8) and Frank Thomas (8) are the other players to have reached the century mark in RBIs over eight of their first nine seasons.
Teixeira and Pujols are the only ones to have 30 home runs and 100 RBIs in at least eight of their first nine years. Pujols has done it in all 10 of his previous seasons and is looking to make it 11 this year.
"It's one of those things that I know if I stay healthy and consistent, it doesn't matter what my numbers look like in April or even at the All-Star break," Teixeira said. "If I continue to play the way I'm capable of playing, that should happen."
Teixeira's eight seasons with 100 or more RBIs tie him with Carlos Beltran for the second most in history by any switch-hitter. Only Chipper Jones, with nine, has more.
"It's tough to hit for power as a switch-hitter, but I've been very blessed," Teixeira said. "I've been in some great lineups, had a bunch of people on in front of me and protection behind me. You don't get to 30 and 100 without having some great teammates, and I've had a nice little run here."
Teixeira acknowledged that as he prepares for the season and goes through Spring Training, the numbers 30 and 100 are indeed ideas that go through his mind, and those goals helped him shrug off his slow starts.
"When people look at me, they look at me as a 30 and 100 guy. You can't get to 30 and 100 in April," Teixeira said. "That's the mentality you have to have. It's almost like running a marathon. You're not going to win a marathon in the first mile."
Infielder Ramiro Pena started a Minor League rehabilitation assignment with Double-A Trenton on Tuesday, going 1-for-3 with an RBI in a 3-2 loss to New Hampshire. Pena has been on the disabled list since July 18 recovering from an appendectomy.
Left-hander CC Sabathia earned his 18th victory on Tuesday and is the fifth Yankees pitcher to win at least 18 games in three consecutive seasons. The last one to do it was Vic Raschi, who had four consecutive campaigns with 18 or more victories from 1948-51.
Brett Gardner snapped an 0-for-14 skid on Tuesday with a seventh-inning bunt single.
Robinson Cano's .356 (88-for-247) career batting average at Fenway Park is the best all-time mark among Yankees players with a minimum of 200 at-bats. He has hit safely in 24 out of 28 games in Boston since Sept. 26, 2008, batting .381 (45-for-118) over that span.