Originally posted on Bronx Pinstripes  |  Last updated 7/12/13
Hiroki Kuroda (7-6, 2.77 ERA) goes up against the Twins the first time this season with Scott Diamond (5-8, 5.52 ERA) on the mound for Minnesota. Diamond made his second career start on his native soil vs. the Blue Jays on Sunday, and it was forgettable. He went just 4 2/3 innings, giving up six runs on eight hits while tying his career high walks with four. Before the Yankees’ 8-4 win, Joe Girardi was confident Derek Jeter would return to the field Friday against the Twins without any limitations. “Well, I don’t think Derek would ever put a limitation on himself,” Girardi said. “I think Derek would run himself out there for the next 70 games if it was up to him. That’s just who he is. He expects to play every day. From that standpoint, I think we have to guard from rushing him back too much, and we have to take days off. So it’s my job to manage him, physically, even though he’s going to want to be out there every day.” Jeter went 1-4 at the plate Thursday with an RBI and a run scored, and as far as Girardi is concerned, there’s no reason Jeter won’t be the same Jeter as he’s seen in previous years. “For him to be the Derek he was last year,” Girardi said, “there’s nothing that tells me right now that he can’t be — that he’s not going to be able to be productive and play shortstop for us. So those are my expectations.” Brett Gardner wasn’t in the starting lineup Thursday after he took a pitch to his right ankle Wednesday night. He did pinch hit for Jeter in the eighth inning, but before getting back in the starting lineup, Gardner said he still needs to get the ankle loosened up. “I have to get some treatment and get it loosened up,” Gardner said. “My legs are a big part of my game, and if I can’t run, there’s no sense in playing. Hopefully, I’ll be able to run.”   Notes on the game The Yankees are now 30-1 when scoring at least five runs. This season the Bombers are 16-5 against the AL Central. Brian Cashman says ARod will not return to the Bronx before July 22. Game kicks off at 7:05 PM (EST) on Yes.
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