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Jeter within 3 hits of 3,000
Rookie Lonnie Chisenhall hit his first career homer for Cleveland, which took two of three from the AL East leaders. The Central-leading Indians scored two runs in the first off starter Phil Hughes (0-2), who came off the disabled list to make his first start since April when he was sidelined with shoulder inflammation.
Masterson allowed three hits, struck out six, walked two and got just his second win since April 26. New York’s left-handed hitters went 0 for 19 against him.
Hitless in his first three appearances, Jeter doubled _ his second extra-base hit of the series _ with one out in the eighth. He went to third on a sharp grounder that Cabrera ran down on the first-base side of second, spun and threw out the speedy Curtis Granderson. Cabrera, who almost didn’t play because of a sprained right ankle, wasn’t done.
With the Indians shifting right for left-hander Mark Teixeira, Cabrera ranged into short right field before making a sliding stop of a hard-hit grounder. He popped to his feet and threw out Teixeira, punctuating his second defensive gem in minutes by pumping his fist.
Cabrera has been a human highlight reel all season.
“Nothing he does surprises me,” Masterson said. “It never gets old.”
Following Tuesday night’s game, Girardi was leaning toward sitting his captain, thinking a day of rest would be wise. However, Jeter changed his manager’s mind. Girardi said his talk with Jeter and a night to sleep on his decision gave him a greater appreciation for the player’s twisted journey to 3,000.
“He wants to get this done with so he can go on and be Derek Jeter, not Derek Jeter pursuing 3,000 hits,” Girardi said. “That’s the sense I got from him. If I was going for 3,000 hits, I don’t know if I would want a day to think about. I would want to get back out there.
“I really did sleep on it. And, no, I didn’t dream about it.”
There shouldn’t be any doubt about Jeter playing the next few days in New York, where fans have been critical of his game over the past two years. He said he would like to reach the 3,000 plateau at home, and he’ll have four games to get there before the All-Star break.
“There will be a lot of flash bulbs going off, I’m sure,” Girardi said. “I think it’s going to be great. People have anticipated this for a while, the countdown had started, so people are pretty excited _ I know we are in the dugout _ for him to get it done.”
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