(Sports Network) - Derek Jeter returns to the New York Yankees lineup this evening, as he continues his pursuit of 3,000 hits in the opener of a three- game set with the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.
Jeter was six hits shy of becoming the first Yankee to reach the milestone when he landed on the disabled list June 14 with a calf injury suffered in a game against the Indians. After two rehab games with Double-A Trenton, Jeter and general manager Brian Cashman have deemed the American League's starting shortstop for the All-Star Game ready to go.
"It feels good, I've been gone for three weeks almost," said Jeter, who is a career .370 hitter in Cleveland. "I'm looking forward to being back and helping the team continue to play well."
The Yankees didn't skip a beat without their captain, posting a 14-4 record in his absence. Although, one of those losses came on Sunday at Citi Field, as Mariano Rivera blew a save in the ninth and the Yankees were denied a series sweep of the Mets, who pulled out a 3-2 win in 10 innings.
Rivera and Jeter were two of six Yankees named to the All-Star team earlier in the day.
Curtis Granderson, also an All-Star starter, and Nick Swisher each knocked in a run as the Yankees had their seven-game win streak stopped. Freddy Garcia worked seven full frames in the start, yielding six hits and one run.
Tonight, the Yanks turn to inconsistent righty A.J. Burnett, who is 8-6 with a 4.05 earned run average. Burnett won for the second time in three starts on Wednesday against Milwaukee, as he allowed a pair of runs and seven hits in seven innings.
Burnett lost to the Indians earlier in the year, despite giving up a run and five hits in 7 2/3 innings. For his career he is 3-5 versus the Tribe with a 4.47 ERA in nine starts.
Cleveland, meanwhile, will rely on righty Josh Tomlin, who was torched by the Yankees the last time he faced them, surrendering six runs and 12 hits in five innings back on June 12.
Tomlin is unbeaten in three starts since that beating and is 9-4 on the year with a 3.86 ERA. He did not get a decision on Wednesday in Arizona, as he allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings of his team's 6-4 loss.
The Indians come into tonight's tilt after taking two of three this weekend from Cincinnati in the Battle of Ohio. The Tribe, though, were denied a series sweep on Sunday, falling 7-5 at Great American Ball Park.
Shelley Duncan hit a two-run homer for the Indians, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Mitch Talbot (2-5) took the loss after giving up six runs on 10 hits in just four innings and remained winless since May 31.
The Yankees took three of four from the Indians earlier in the year and own a 13-4 record in the past 17 meetings.