Jeter could possibly etch his name in baseball history Wednesday night when Hughes and the Yankees conclude their road set with the Cleveland Indians.
In his second game since missing three weeks with a calf injury, Jeter went 2 for 6 in a 9-2 win Tuesday. New York’s captain is four hits shy of becoming the 28th major leaguer - and first Yankee - to reach 3,000.
Manager Joe Girardi had considered giving Jeter the series finale off to rest, but decided to put him back in the lineup Wednesday night.
For the 37-year-old Jeter, who had four-hit games April 24 and May 8, the decision was easy.
“I want to play,” he said.
Though Jeter’s pursuit of 3,000 is getting all the headlines, Granderson has homered three times in the series and is the fifth Yankee in the past 50 years to hit at least 25 before the All-Star break. He’s hit .462 with five homers and eight RBIs versus Cleveland in 2011.
Hughes (0-1, 13.94 ERA) hopes to pitch better than he did before going on the disabled list April 15 with arm fatigue. The right-hander allowed at least five runs in each of his three starts.
He went 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA and struck out 18 over three starts at Double-A Trenton.
“I felt like I was ready, so let’s try it,” Hughes said. “I feel a lot better. There’s not much more I could do on rehab. I know my stuff is there. I just have to execute my pitches.”
After going 5-0 with a 2.11 ERA in his first seven starts, Masterson went 0-6 with a 3.68 ERA over his next nine before giving up a run and four hits in eight innings of an 8-2 win at Cincinnati on Friday.
The Indians had totaled 16 runs in his previous nine starts.
Despite the lack of support, Masterson is satisfied he’s been able to keep his team in games.
“The way it’s been going lately on my part, I’m pretty happy with it,” said Masterson, who has a 1.85 ERA over his last five outings. “You can’t let the score dictate how you pitch, but it’s nice to see those runs on the board.”
Masterson is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in three starts versus New York, but Jeter is a .417 hitter (5 for 12) against him.
“We’ll see how he shows up (Wednesday),” manager Manny Acta said. “It’s nothing serious. He tried to grind through it.”
Cabrera, batting .292 with a career-high 14 homers and 49 RBIs, has hit .304 versus New York in 2011.