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).