Derek Jeter could return to the New York Yankees on Sunday.
They'll likely need all the help they can get against the red-hot Matt Moore.
Moore takes the mound Sunday looking to lead the Tampa Bay Rays to their second ever three-game sweep at Yankee Stadium.
After a 10-6 slugfest in favor of Tampa Bay (62-42) on Friday, Chris Archer turned in a two-hitter in a 1-0 win Saturday, the club's 24th victory in 29 games. Kelly Johnson drove in the lone run with a sixth-inning single, while the Yankees' only hits came from Brett Gardner and Lyle Overbay.
New York (54-50) was still without Jeter, who was eligible to come off the disabled list but instead played a simulated game in Staten Island as manager Joe Girardi said the club wanted him to test his strained right quadriceps.
"You can be in great shape, but playing shape's a little bit different because you're getting used to standing around, starting and stopping, so we had to do all that," Girardi said. "As of right now, he came out very well. So we'll see how he feels (Sunday)."
Girardi added that Jeter, whose only game this season was July 11 against Kansas City, will start at shortstop if he's feeling well.
"It's obviously someone we've been waiting for for a long time," Girardi said. "We had him for one day. We won that game, so hopefully his ratio continues."
Alex Rodriguez, meanwhile, remained rehabbing at the team's minor league facility in Tampa, Fla., and Travis Hafner didn't play, undergoing an MRI on his shoulder.
New York's outlook doesn't appear favorable against Moore (14-3, 3.17 ERA), who seeks his seventh win in as many starts. Jeter might be able to provide some help, with his .455 average against the left-hander ranking fourth among all players with at least 10 at_bats against him.
Moore owns a 1.50 ERA during his six-start win streak, which began with an 8-3 victory in New York on June 20 when he gave up three runs over 6 1-3 innings. He's allowed three earned runs over his last 29 2-3 innings.
The 24-year-old Moore is coming off his first career shutout, throwing 109 pitches while allowing two hits in a 3-0 win at Boston on Monday.
"I think that's the most efficient I've been," said Moore, who is 2-0 with a 2.21 ERA in three outings against the Yankees this year. "I think that's probably the best game I've ever thrown (considering) the Red Sox are playing well, and we're on the road."
New York is hoping to avoid being swept at home by the Rays for the first time since Sept. 25-27, 1999, when Jeter was 25 years old.
The Yankees have lost eight of 11 and are on the verge of going homerless in 10 straight games for the first time since 1984. Alfonso Soriano hasn't yet provided the pop the team hoped for when acquiring him from the Chicago Cubs, as he's 0 for 8 in two games.
Scheduled starter Phil Hughes (4-9, 4.33) has become all too familiar with a lack of offensive help. He's 1-5 in his last seven starts despite a 3.61 ERA, receiving an average of 2.3 runs of support.
Hughes is 1-7 in 10 home starts this year with a 5.63 ERA but has done well lately versus the Rays, going 2-1 with a 3.04 ERA in his last six games against them.
Yunel Escobar, who doubled in each of the series' first two games, is 7 for 19 off Hughes, while Matt Joyce is 5 for 13 with a double, a triple and two homers. Luke Scott is 8 for 16 versus the right-hander.
The Associated Press News Service
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