Sunday, July 7, 2013

Jeter goes 0-for-2, plays five innings in first rehab game (VIDEO)

Derek Jeter played in his first real baseball game Saturday night for the first time in nine months.

The New York Yankees' shortstop and captain put on the pinstripes for the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, his first minor league rehab game on the road back to the big leagues.

Jeter went 0-for-2 with a walk and played a pre-planned five innings at shortstop before exiting the game in front of the the standing-room-only crowd at PNC Field.

"It was fine. I didn't do much," Jeter said after the highly anticipated return to the field. "It was maybe the first time I sort of got a mini-standing ovation for grounding out."

Jeter led off in the bottom of the first inning and drew a five-pitch walk against lefty Raul Valdes (a former Yankee) of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. He did hit a line-drive foul down the third-base line during the at-bat.

In the third inning, Jeter lined out to second base, and in the fourth inning, he bounced out to third, again off Valdes. Jeter looked fine running down to first base in the fourth, his only real action on the basepaths. He only got one play in the field — a routine grounder in the fifth inning, which he handled with ease.

"I just wanted to see pitches," he said. "That's all I really wanted, to have good at-bats, and just get back out there."

Jeter, who turned 39 in June, hasn't played in an official game since Oct. 13, when he suffered a broken left ankle in Game 1 of the 2012 American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers. He re-injured the ankle in spring training, and has missed the entire regular season thus far.

He admitted being nervous before Saturday's game.

"This is a little different because I've missed a lot of time," Jeter said. "I've missed nine months. Not nine months of games ... but I've never missed this amount of time."

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