Padres 6, Yankees 3

The New York Yankees could be losing shortstop Derek Jeter again
– to yet another leg injury.

An MRI exam revealed that Jeter has a strained right calf, the
latest setback in a year already full of injuries for the team
captain. The Yankees hope to know more about his condition before
Monday night’s game at the Chicago White Sox.

”Who knows?” Jeter said when asked if he’d be shut down again.
”I’m tired of trying to speculate. It’s frustrating, so we’ll see
what happens tomorrow.

”It’s been terrible, like a nightmare,” he added after the
Yankees’ 6-3 loss to San Diego on Sunday. ”The whole season’s been
a nightmare, so I really don’t know what to tell you. I wish that
wasn’t the case, we were sitting here talking about something other
than injuries. We’ll see what happens. I have no idea.”

Jeter, 38, didn’t play Saturday or Sunday against the
Padres.

”The odd thing is there was no play where it happened,” Jeter
said. ”Usually, you feel it in a particular play, but I didn’t
feel it in any particular play. We got to L.A., I started to feel
it Monday night, Tuesday on the off day after Sunday’s game.

”It’s different because when I did it last time, I felt it. I
was running to first base, and I felt it. This time I didn’t feel
anything when I was playing. It was later on that night, the next
day. So I can’t pinpoint when it happened. I don’t know when it
happened. Maybe adrenaline got me through it. Anything would be
speculation (if) I try to figure out when I did it.”

It did appear that Jeter took an awkward step while making a
play in Friday night’s 7-2 loss to San Diego. He also had an
awkward slide into third base.

In announcing Jeter’s latest injury, manager Joe Girardi said:
”I can’t tell you what that means or what we’re going to do with
him. I’m not sure what we’re going to do considering where we are
at this point of the year.”

Asked before the game if he’s concerned that Jeter keeps getting
hurt, the manager said: ”I think that if he had a normal spring
training and he wasn’t coming off an injury like he did, I don’t
think these things would be happening. My guess is next year will
be different, but only time will tell.

”Could it happen again?” Girardi said. ”Yeah something could
happen, because we’re at that time of year where we can’t really
afford to say, `Take 25 days.’ You can’t do that.”

Is the injury part of Jeter still favoring the left ankle he
broke in last season’s AL championship series?

”You’re asking me to play doctor or God, which is even harder.
I can’t do that,” Girardi said.

Girardi doesn’t know if the new injury came about because of a
strained right quadriceps that landed Jeter on the disabled list
from July 12 until being activated last Sunday.

Jeter is hitting .211 (4 for 19) with one home run and two
RBIs.

The Yankees got only 2 2-3 innings from Phil Hughes on Sunday
and lost to Ian Kennedy in his Padres debut.

”It’s frustrating,” Girardi said. ”We had a chance to win the
series and didn’t. We’re going to have to if we’re going to play in
October.”

The Yankees are a season-worst 9 1/2 games out of first place in
the AL East and 4 1/2 out in the race for the second wild-card
spot.

”There’s still a lot of time. The teams in front we’re going to
play a lot, but you don’t’ want to dig yourself a big hole,”
Girardi said.

Hughes (4-10) had his second-shortest outing of the season,
allowing five runs and six hits while striking out one and walking
one.

The Southern California native got through the first inning
unscathed but was roughed up in the second and third innings. He
allowed singles to Will Venable and Chris Denorfia opening the
second before Mark Kotsay hit a sacrifice fly. He then walked Nick
Hundley before Kennedy sacrificed ahead of Everth Cabrera’s two-run
single.

Hughes again put on the first two batters in the third, allowing
a single to Alexi Amarista and walking Chase Headley, and again,
both scored. Denorfia hit a sacrifice fly and Kotsay hit an RBI
single with two outs, chasing Hughes.

”He couldn’t put people away,” Girardi said. ”The bottom line
is, he didn’t make pitches when he had to.”

Hughes, who’s 0-3 in his last five starts, agreed.

”I blew an opportunity there in the second to get an out, two
outs, and it comes down to not making quality pitches when I had
to,” he said. ”There were runners in scoring position and a lot
of long counts and just a battle the entire time. Unfortunately, I
wasn’t able to execute a couple of big pitches with two outs.”

It was the sixth time this season he’s gone four innings or
fewer.

NOTES: Yankees RHP Michael Pineda came out of his start with
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Friday night with shoulder stiffness, and
Girardi said he will be evaluated by doctors this week. Coming off
April 2012 surgery to repair a torn labrum in his pitching
shoulder, Pineda is 2-1 with a 3.32 ERA in 10 minor league starts
this year. … The Yankees open a three-game series at the Chicago
White Sox on Monday night, with LHP Andy Pettitte (7-8, 4.28 ERA)
scheduled to oppose LHP Jose Quintana (5-3, 3.62).