Sheffield Returns To Yankee Lineup After 3 Weeks on DL
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BOSTON – The Yankees activated Gary Sheffield from the disabled list and put him in the lineup at designated hitter for last night’s game against the Boston Red Sox.
The team held off on the move and the lineup until after Sheffield tested okay in batting practice.
“He’s certainly a threat. He helps everybody around him,” manager Joe Torre said. “Sheffield is a force in there and I think it helps the personality of the ballclub.”
Right-hander Colter Bean was designated for assignment to make room for Sheffield, who went on the disabled list on May 5 with a sprained left wrist and hand. His absence has become more glaring with the injuries to fellow outfielders Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, and Bubba Crosby.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona had hoped to escape Sheffield but wasn’t so lucky.
“I thought he should have rehabbed more,” Francona joked before the game. “I’d hate to see him come back and get hurt.”
Sheffield went 1-for-3 with an RBI during a minor league rehab game Monday night, singling on the first pitch he saw as the designated hitter for the Trenton Thunder in an Eastern League game against the New Britain Rock Cats. He also had a sacrifice fly, struck out swinging and hit into a fielder’s choice before being pulled for a pinch hitter in the eighth.
Torre said he left it up to Sheffield to decide whether he needed another day on rehab.
“I do trust him,” the manager said. “He certainly doesn’t want to jeopardize not being able to play.”
Sheffield was hurt when he collided with Toronto first baseman Shea Hillenbrand on April 29. He missed the next three games, pinch hit in another and made one more start before going on the DL.
“There’s a big difference from that day,” Sheffield said. “I wasn’t being realistic [trying to come back] that day.”
Matsui and Crosby are still on the 15-day disabled list, and Damon is nursing a sore foot. The former Red Sox standout was in the lineup as designated hitter for the series opener on Monday night and back in center yesterday.
YANKEES 7, RED SOX 5 Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter each had two hits and Alex Rodriguez hit a 3-run homer to break the game open in the seventh innning as the Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 7-5 last night.
Jaret Wright pitched five shutout innings, giving up just four hits to the potent Red Sox lineup.
The Yankees took a 7-1 lead in eighth inning before Boston mounted a comeback behind Manny Ramirez, who hit a 3-run homer in the seventh and had an RBI single in the eighth.
Mariano Rivera came in the eighth inning to try and stop the bleeding. He gave up 2 hits in 1.2 innings for the save.
The Yankees now stand just 1.5 games behind the rival Red Sox in the AL East standings.