Today in MLB: Derek Jeter returns to Yankees

Today in MLB: Derek Jeter returns to Yankees
July 11, 2013, 11:00 am
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Nearly 85 percent of Cliff Lee’s pitches Wednesday night were strikes, but the Nationals hit a pair of back-to-back homers and the Phillies’ offense couldn’t score enough runs against Gio Gonzalez in a 5-1 loss (see story).

Here’s a look at tonight’s against in MLB:

Royals at Yankees, 1:05 p.m.
It's been an unfamiliar road for Derek Jeter this season, but it now leads to a place where he's always welcome.

Nine months after breaking his left ankle in the 2012 playoffs, the veteran shortstop is set to make his season debut at Yankee Stadium on Thursday when the New York Yankees try to split their four-game series with the Kansas City Royals in the Bronx.

Jeter successfully completed his rehabilitation for a broken left ankle - originally suffered versus Detroit in October and fractured again in April - with a four-game stint at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre the past week. The 39-year-old went 1 for 9 with four walks in four games, including 0 for 3 with a throwing error Wednesday night against Rochester.

"I do (feel I'm ready) but I said I was ready in January," Jeter told the team's official website after the last game. "There are a lot of different situations that happened, but I felt good."

The Yankees hope their captain can provide a spark to an offense that is next-to-last in the AL in runs scored but may be ending its offensive funk. New York (49-42) ended a three-game losing streak in which it scored one run each time with an 8-1 victory Wednesday, as Robinson Cano hit a three-run homer and Lyle Overbay added a grand slam (see full preview).

-The Associated Press

Reds at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
No matter what happens in their final series of the first half, the Atlanta Braves will head into the All-Star break atop the NL East.
That lead could have been bigger had they done a better job supporting Tim Hudson.

The right-hander tries to build on his first victory in two months Thursday night in the first of four against the visiting Cincinnati Reds.

Although Braves starters had a 4.21 ERA on a 3-3 trip that ended with Wednesday's 6-2 loss to Miami, that group's 3.52 ERA is a major reason why the team owns baseball's largest divisional lead.

Atlanta (52-39) has held at least a share of the top spot in the East since April 5 (see full preview).

-The Associated Press

Rockies at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
The Colorado Rockies are expected to have Dexter Fowler back from the disabled list in time for the series opener against one of the hottest teams in baseball. It's uncertain, though, if Troy Tulowitzki will get the chance to see the field that soon.

After getting Carlos Gonzalez back in the lineup their last time out, the Rockies are hoping that they're virtually at full strength when they face the Los Angeles Dodgers, winners in 15 of 18, on Thursday night.

Fowler hasn't played since June 25 because of an injured right hand, and Tulowitzki has been out since June 13 due to a broken rib. The two returned to the team Wednesday from rehab assignments at Triple-A Colorado Springs, but manager Walt Weiss wasn't ready to say if Tulowitzki would be ready for the series opener at Dodger Stadium.

The shortstop, one of the Rockies' two All-Star starters along with Gonzalez, had the NL's second-best average at .347 along with 16 homers and 51 RBIs before his injury. He's gone 6 for 14 in his last three games against the Dodgers (see full preview).

­-The Associated Press

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