Sep 7, 2014

Yankees to honor Jeter, then go for series win over Royals

The New York Yankees remain focused on chasing down a playoff spot, but that won't stop the club from taking the time to honor its retiring captain.

The Yankees will celebrate Derek Jeter Day on Sunday in the Bronx as they conclude a three-game series with the American League Central-leading Kansas City Royals.

Jeter has come a long way in Yankees lore since debuting with the club in 1995, getting named to 14 All-Star Games and winning five Gold Gloves at shortstop. He is the club's all-time leader in a large number of categories, including games played, hits, stolen bases and doubles, and, more importantly, has been a part of five World Championships.

Named the 11th captain in team history on June 3, 2003, Jeter will be honored before the game with a special ceremony highlighting his career that is expected to include former teammates, family members and other special guests.

"I don't know anything. I haven't been told. I don't even know what time I have to be here (Sunday)," Jeter told "I don't know if that's by design, but no one's told me anything. I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to something that I assume would be pretty special."

Also, beginning on Sunday the Yankees will wear a special patch honoring Jeter's career for the final 22 games of the regular season.

The Yankees are hoping there is more baseball left in Jeter's career in the form of a postseason run as they find themselves still 4 1/2 games out of the American League's second wild card spot, even after Saturday's 6-2 win.

Brandon McCarthy, who had allowed nine runs total in losing his previous two starts, yielded just a pair of runs over 6 2/3 innings as New York rebounded from a 1-0 setback in the opener to win for the third time in four games.

"I felt like I did a good job," said McCarthy. "When I got into some jams, I did a good job bearing down and making pitches. They hit a couple of good pitches. It was just kind of one of those days that you're working for everything you get."

Martin Prado went 3-for-4 with two runs scored to pace a Yankee offense that reached fill-in starter Liam Hendriks for four runs -- three earned -- and seven hits over the first four innings.

Hendriks was pressed into duty when Danny Duffy exited the contest with a sore left shoulder after throwing only one pitch.

"It just tightened to a point that I just felt like I had a vice grip on my shoulder," said Duffy. "I feel terrible that we cashed a lot of our bullpen today."

Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas each knocked in runs for Kansas City, which had a four-game win streak halted but still leads the AL Central by two games over Detroit.

With the bullpen taxed a bit, the Royals will hope that Yordano Ventura can eat some innings today. He has won back-to-back starts against Texas, a span that does include a missed outing due to a back ailment.

The right-hander bested the Rangers on Aug. 22, then did not start again until Monday. He held Texas to three runs -- two earned -- on five hits and four walks over 6 1/3 innings.

Ventura improved to 11-9 on the year with a 3.38 earned run average and faces the Yankees for the first time.

After honoring Jeter, right-hander Shane Greene will get the start for the Yankees looking to rebound from the worst start of his young career.

On Tuesday versus Boston, Greene yielded six runs on six hits and three walks over 2 2/3 innings. It was his first setback since July 21 and dropped the rookie to 4-2 with a 3.88 ERA in 11 games (10 starts).

Greene is set to face the Royals for the first time in his career and does so looking to improve on a 1-2 mark and 5.40 ERA in five starts at Yankee Stadium.

These two clubs split four previous meetings this season in Kansas City.

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