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TB@NYY: Captain returns, homering on first pitch

Late-inning rallies allowed both the Blue Jays and the Yankees to avoid sweeps on Sunday. New York will get an added boost when their captain, Derek Jeter, returns to the team for the series opener against Toronto on Monday at Rogers Centre.

Due to multiple leg injuries, Jeter has made three trips to the disabled list and has been limited to just five games this season. While the Yankees will tell Jeter to take it easy whenever possible, they are also expecting results quickly.

"He has played three days in a row [on a rehab assignment]. From everything I understand, he felt pretty good," manager Joe Girardi said. "I don't know if we can afford to be apprehensive."

Phil Hughes, who is looking for his first win since July 2, will take the mound for the Yankees. Hughes will be making his second consecutive start against Toronto, allowing two runs on seven hits in six innings in a no-decision on Tuesday.

"I feel like I'm making progress in the right direction," Hughes said. "It all starts with my fastball. I was able to get ahead a lot, throw a lot of strikes and force guys to swing the bats. It worked out all right."

Meanwhile, R.A. Dickey gets the nod for the Blue Jays. Dickey took the loss in an eight-inning complete game against the Yankees on Wednesday, allowing four runs on six hits. He has only two wins in the past two months in what has been a disappointing season for both Toronto and last year's National League Cy Young Award winner.

"It's frustrating, it's like a twilight zone -- different day, same script," Dickey said after his last start. "It's really kind of a fluky kind of feeling. I don't really know how to put it into verbiage. I'm at a loss when it comes to that. I just keep telling myself to leave it all on the field, and whatever happens, happens."

Yankees: A-Rod receives scheduled break
• Alex Rodriguez was left out of the starting lineup on Sunday, though he did pinch-hit in the 10th inning, as the Yankees try to keep his legs fresh while playing a stretch of six straight games on artificial turf.

"Whenever we get on this turf six days in a row -- it was a concern last year for some of our guys," Girardi said. "That's partly because of age, and we try to manage them carefully."

Rodriguez has struggled over the past week, going 2-for-18 (.111) with seven strikeouts in his last five games before a single to center on Sunday.

• Lyle Overbay returned to the Yankees' lineup on Sunday after a two-day bout with flu-like symptoms.

Blue Jays: Cecil to be used in shorter stints
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said the team will use Brett Cecil as a lefty specialist or pitch one full inning at most, but the extended outings out of the bullpen are over for this season.

Toronto wants to take a cautious approach with Cecil after he transitioned to the bullpen this season following several years in the starting rotation. Cecil, an All-Star, is 5-1 with a 2.73 ERA in 59 1/3 innings this season.

"[Darren] Oliver has been a bullpen guy for like 10 years probably, and he was the first one to say something to me, 'Hey man, save your bullets because you're going to need them in August and September,'" Cecil said. "I said the other day, 'Sure enough, I needed to save some bullets.' But, I'm getting the hang of it, so hopefully next year is a little bit different."

Worth noting
• The Yankees are undefeated at home against Toronto this season, going 10-0. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marked the fifth time in franchise history the Yankees swept a home season series against a team they hosted at least 10 times.

• With 3,308 career hits, Jeter is six hits shy of tying Eddie Collins (3,314) for ninth place on the all-time list. Comments