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Sunday, August 18, 2013
Pregame (non-A-Rod) notes

By Wallace Matthews

BOSTON -- Once again, Alex Rodriguez proves to be bigger than the game, even a virtual must-win game like tonight's rubber game with the Red Sox.

But there is other news in Yankeeland:

-- Derek Jeter, who has been out since August 3 with a right calf strain and was eligible to come off the disabled list yesterday, still is not close to returning to the Yankees. Joe Girardi said the 39-year-old shortstop would play "somewhat of a simulated game" on Monday in Tampa, then downgraded that to "live BP, in a sense," because Jeter will not be running the bases.

In fact, Jeter, who took ground balls and batting practice today, has yet to run the bases at all, delaying his return until next weekend's series against the Rays in Tampa at the earliest. "I guess that anything is possible, but until he’s able to run freely, I don’t think you can really put a date on (Jeter's return)," Girardi said. "And he hasn’t done that yet."

-- Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes will be the starting pitchers for Tuesday's make-up day/night doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Girardi also said Adam Warren was likely to get a start this week, probably Wednesday or Thursday, because of the need to use two starters in one day.

-- Curtis Granderson is the DH tonight, for the second game in a row, and Girardi said that was not because of an injury, but due to superstition. "(Alfonso Soriano) has been on such a roll, I don’t really want to to change anything that he’s doing. He’s been swinging the bat, so I don’t want to screw anything up," Girardi said.

Over his last five games, Soriano is 15-for-22 (.681) with five home runs and 18 RBIs.

-- CC Sabathia, tonight's starter, is 9-10 with a 4.45 ERA in 25 career starts against the Red Sox. As a Yankee, CC is 7-6, 4.67, but just 2-6 at Fenway Park.