Jeter, though, will watch from the dugout this weekend due to a strained quadriceps as New York seeks a fifth straight victory over the struggling Twins on Friday night at Yankee Stadium.
Jeter fractured his left ankle in Game 1 of the AL championship series against Detroit on Oct. 13. After an arduous rehabilitation process that included a setback in April when he fractured the ankle again, he had an infield single on the first pitch he saw and added an RBI groundout while making his season debut as the designated hitter in Thursday's 8-4 win over Kansas City.
He was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning after feeling tightness following his third at-bat, and an MRI taken revealed a grade one strain of his right quad. With the All-Star break following this series, the Yankees opted to be cautious with their captain and hold him out to give him a full week of rest before deciding if he should go back on the disabled list.
"We'll have to give it some time and see how he responds," general manager Brian Cashman said Friday when announcing the results of the MRI.
The Yankees (50-42) scored eight times for the second straight game after finishing with one run in losing each of their previous three.
New York did just fine without Jeter the last time it faced the Twins, scoring 29 runs in a four-game sweep July 1-4. It has won seven of the last eight meetings with Minnesota, which will try to avoid a sixth straight defeat after falling 4-3 to Tampa Bay on Thursday.
The Twins (37-52) were no-hit until the sixth and finished with just four while losing for the 11th time in 12 tries."We've still got to put the ball in play better than we did the last couple of days, and that really affected the outcomes of games (during the four-game sweep)," manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Minnesota will try to bounce back against Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda (7-6, 2.77 ERA), who has pitched at least seven innings without allowing a run five times. The right-hander gave up three hits in seven scoreless innings before Mariano Rivera allowed a two-run, ninth-inning homer to Adam Jones in a 2-1 loss to Baltimore on Sunday.
It was the second time in those five outings Kuroda lost a potential victory due to a blown save by Rivera.
Kuroda will be opposed by Scott Diamond (5-8, 5.52), who had one of his better outings July 1 when he gave up three runs while striking out five in 6 2-3 innings before Minnesota fell 10-4 to the Yankees.
Things didn't go so well for him Sunday, when he allowed six runs in 4 2-3 innings of an 11-5 loss to Toronto. The left-hander allowed three homers and has given up eight over his last four starts after permitting seven through his first 12.
Diamond is 1-4 with a 7.03 ERA over his last six outings.
|July 01, 2013||Josh Willingham||15-Day DL||Medial meniscus tear, left knee|
|July 01, 2013||Josh Willingham||Day-to-Day||Left knee soreness|
|June 19, 2013||Mike Pelfrey||15-Day DL||Back strain|
|June 19, 2013||Mike Pelfrey||15-Day DL||Back strain|
|June 11, 2013||Jared Burton||Day-to-Day||Groin injury|
|June 10, 2013||Aaron Hicks||15-Day DL||Left hamstring strain|
|New York Yankees|
|July 10, 2013||Brett Gardner||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right leg contusion|
|July 10, 2013||Travis Hafner||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left foot contusion|
|July 05, 2013||David Phelps||15-Day DL||Right forearm strain|
|July 02, 2013||Hiroki Kuroda||Day-to-Day||Sore left hip flexor|
|July 02, 2013||Jayson Nix||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|June 16, 2013||Mark Teixeira||60-Day DL||Right wrist surgery - out for season|
NEW YORK (AP) -- Hiroki Kuroda returned to the mound for one more gritty inning after an extended delay. Still, it might've been more if Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild hadn't counted all the warmup tosses the right-hander threw to keep loose during the rain.
Kuroda returned after a break of 73 minutes to pitch the fifth inning, Robinson Cano had another big hit against the Twins and New York beat Minnesota for the fifth time in two weeks, 2-0 Friday night.
Kuroda threw 90 pitches when it counted and about 20 in the batting cage while waiting out the chilly downpour. Rothschild decided that was enough work for one night.
"I think I gave Larry a hard time," Kuroda said.
Brett Gardner and Cano helped give Kuroda (8-6) just his second win in 10 starts, dating to May 22, with RBI singles in the bottom of the fifth off Twins bullpen after the Yankees had no success against Scott Diamond early on.
Boone Logan struck out the side in the seventh after relieving Preston Claiborne with two on. David Robertson was perfect in the eighth and Mariano Rivera finished off the eight-hitter for his 30th save.
Rivera reached 30 saves for the 15th time in his career, passing Trevor Hoffman for most 30-save seasons in big league history.
New York was playing without captain Derek Jeter after he strained his right quadriceps in his first game this season on Thursday. Jeter will not play in this series and the Yankees will re-evaluate after the All-Star break.
"It's deflating a bit," said Lyle Overbay , whose at-bat in the fourth spanned the delay. When the tarps came out he was behind 0-1.
"I had a 1-hour, 15-minute at-bat," Overbay joked. "First time I ever had to deal with that."
The Yankees improved to 31-7 against Minnesota in New York since 2002. New York swept the Twins in four straight in Minnesota from July 1-4 and has won nine of 12 overall.
The Twins were coming off a four-game sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays and have lost 12 of 13.
Manager Ron Gardenhire talked before the game about not allowing Cano to beat him after the All-Star drove in nine runs during the sweep.
"Bounce it. Please bounce it," Gardenhire said.
The first two times up, the plan worked. Diamond walked Cano. But after the rain, with Brian Duensing on the mound, Cano lined a single up the middle to score the Yankees' second run of the fifth inning.
"Even with the elements, and the atmosphere, I felt like I was focused in pretty well," said Diamond, who gave up one hit in 3 1-3 innings.
Luis Cruz had led off the fifth against Ryan Pressly (2-2), who took over for Diamond after the delay with one out in the fourth, with a single, just the Yankees' second hit. Chris Stewart sacrificed him to second and Gardner slapped a single the opposite way to left field for a 1-0 lead. Gardner moved to second on the throw home.
Duensing relieved and got Ichiro Suzuki to ground to second. Gardner advanced and then scored on Cano's hit.
That was more than enough to make Kuroda a winner against a Twins lineup that had great difficulty getting hits with runners on. Against the 38-year-old righty, Minnesota had eight runners on but only got one hit when there was a man on base.
"We had opportunities and we put men out there just didn't come up with any big hits again, kinda what our storyline's been," Gardenhire said. "Get them out there and missed opportunities."
Kuroda allowed six hits and two walks. He struck out five. He lowered his ERA to 2.65.
Claiborne took over for the sixth and had New York's first 1-2-3 inning. But he gave up hits to Pedro Florimon and Brian Dozier to start the seventh and yielded to left-hander Logan.
With the rain falling heavily again, Logan struck out Chris Parmelee . He threw a wild pitch that moved the runners up before fanning Joe Mauer , and during Justin Morneau 's at-bat threw another ball to the backstop but Florimon failed to score, even after Stewart flipped the slick ball past Logan, rushing to cover home.
After being called out by third base umpire on Kerwin Danley on a checked-swing strike three, Morneau flipped his bat on home plate and threw his helmet. Plate umpire Lance Barksdale angrily pointed to the bat and Morneau picked it up.
" Boone Logan did an outstanding job," manager Joe Girardi said.
NOTES: The Yankees completed a contract with their third first-round draft pick, Aaron Judge, No. 32 overall for $1.8 million. The outfielder out of Fresno State was a compensation pick for losing Nick Swisher to free agency. ... Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez 's rehab game with Class-A Tampa was postponed by rain. ... Morneau singled in the first and has hit safely in 12 of 14 games at Yankee Stadium since 2009.