Derek Jeter says he'll play Game 4

Updated: October 11, 2012, 10:15 AM ET
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- After removing Derek Jeter in the ninth inning of Game 3 of the AL Division Series because of a bone bruise in his left foot, Yankees manager Joe Girardi is unsure if the shortstop will play in Game 4.

As for the Yankees' captain, he says there is no doubt he will be in the lineup.

Jeter
Jeter

"I will play," Jeter said after the Yankees moved one win away from taking the series with their dramatic 3-2, 12-inning win against the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night.

Jeter was hurt when he fouled a ball off his foot in the first inning. He hobbled around the field the rest of the game. In the eighth inning, Jeter said Girardi nearly pinch hit for him when Jeter struck out.

"I talked my way into that last at-bat," said Jeter, who went 2 for 4.

If Jeter can't play, then Jayson Nix likely would start at shortstop. Jeter could be the DH.

No matter the circumstances, Girardi knows Jeter will say he can play.

"I'll have to make a decision on what I try to do with him," Girardi said. "You know, is the DH maybe for me? Does his foot feel good enough to play shortstop? Does his foot feel good enough to play at all? I'm going to have to wait until (Thursday)."

The injury Jeter suffered Wednesday is different than the one he has had since mid-September. He left a game in the late innings against the Red Sox on Sept. 12. Girardi used him as the DH for four games to rest the injury.

Girardi, meanwhile, said he needed a night's sleep before deciding on a lineup for Game 4 and whether Alex Rodriguez would be in it.

Girardi pinch hit for Rodriguez in the ninth Wednesday night, with Raul Ibanez tying the game with a solo home run and then winning it with another solo shot in the 12th.

One positive for Rodriguez: He's a career .438 hitter with two home runs and five RBIs in 16 career at-bats against Joe Saunders, who will start for the Orioles on Thursday.

Both Girardi and Rodriguez said the decision to pinch hit for Rodriguez would not affect their player-manager relationship.

"I'm Joe's biggest fan. Joe's always respected me to the utmost and I give it right back to him," Rodriguez said.

Added Girardi: "Sometimes you've got to do what your gut tells you, and my gut told me to make the move. I still have the utmost respect for Al and I still think he's a great player, he's just going through a little tough time right now."

Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Ian Begley was used in this report.

Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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