The New York Yankees will have captain Derek Jeter back in the lineup Sunday when they try to avoid a three-game sweep by the American League East-leading Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium.
Jeter, who missed the first 91 games of the season recovering from his fractured ankle suffered in last year's ALCS, injured his quad in his first game back, but appears to be ready to go after a simulated game on Saturday.
New York's captain, who will be back at shortstop and bat second, couldn't be returning at a better time, as the Yankees have lost eight of 11 and haven't homered in eight straight games, the team's longest drought since 1984.
On Saturday, Chris Archer tossed a two-hit shutout and Kelly Johnson's sixth- inning RBI single was the difference, as Tampa Bay clipped the Yankees, 1-0.. The Rays have now won 21 of their last 24 games to improve to a season-high of 20 games over the .500 mark.
Wil Myers went 1-for-4 in Saturday's victory for Tampa Bay, which snapped his franchise rookie record of seven consecutive multi-hit games. The first-year right fielder still owns an eight-game hitting streak and is batting .471 with seven RBI over that span. James Loney has tallied two hits in three consecutive games to raise his batting average to .320.
Although it won, Tampa Bay had trouble converting in key situations on Saturday and left 10 runners stranded. Matt Moore will hope for more run support as he takes attempts to win his seventh-straight start. The 24-year old southpaw has been unhittable this month with a 0.91 ERA over 29 2/3 innings of work. Moore notched his first career shutout on Monday at Fenway in a crucial divisional game with Boston.
"Just commanding his pitches promotes, obviously, that kind of performance," manager Joe Maddon said. "He went through a little bit of a stretch where he got the wins, but the command wasn't good. A lot of pitches after five innings. He was sitting on (96 pitches) after the eighth (on Monday night). That's pretty impressive, man. And I really believe that's what he's capable of doing on a pretty consistent basis."
Moore is 2-1 at Yankee Stadium in his career.
New York will counter with Phil Hughes, who surrendered three unearned runs over 5 2/3 innings to receive a no-decision versus the Rangers on Tuesday.
Alfonso Soriano has yet to hit safely in eight at-bats since returning to the Bronx. Brett Gardner's double and Lyle Overbay's single were the only hits New York managed to register against Archer.
Ichiro Suzuki went 0-for-4 on Saturday and is now only 6-for-37 since the All- Star break. Robinson Cano also failed to register a hit for the fourth time in the past six games.
The Rays are 7-5 versus the Yankees this season. New York owns a 28-25 record at home coming into Saturday.