Yankees manager Joe Torre said that he made a pact with Jeter to allow the shortstop -- batting .346 and carrying a 17-game hitting streak -- to play in the series finale against the Giants.
"I'm not sure if he'll hold his end of it," Torre said. "I just said if it really bothers you, tell us and we'll come get you."
Jeter was visibly favoring the injury during his final innings of play Saturday, distressed to the point where if he had reached base in his final at-bat in the eighth inning, the Yankees would have pinch-run for him.
As it was, Jeter struck out and was told that he was leaving the game when he returned to the dugout.
"He didn't fight me," Torre said. "You know when he doesn't fight you that it's bothering him."
Torre said that Jeter was not risking further injury by playing on the strain. Even if Jeter was given the day off Sunday, he was considered probable to play Tuesday at Baltimore; his entry into the lineup likely does not alter that projection.
"I'm comfortable after talking to our medical staff that the chances of him injuring himself, as opposed to being uncomfortable, are minimal," Torre said.
On the pine:
After catching 13 innings in Saturday's marathon, the chances of Jorge Posada being in the Yankees' lineup for Sunday's matinee were slim.
Indeed, Posada was resting as the Yankees took the field for their final afternoon in China Basin, but so too was Bobby Abreu, spelled by Kevin Thompson in right field as the Yankees hope to shake Abreu from a 3-for-23 skid on the road trip.
"He's struggling a little bit," Torre said. "He's trying to pull the ball again. My feeling is the last time we did this, it worked for us."
Abreu was seated for a May 18 game against the Mets at Shea Stadium to clear his mind, and he responded by bouncing back and showing a better approach at the plate, drawing raves for hitting the ball to the opposite field.
Meanwhile, Thompson made an impression on Torre by coming off the bench cold and singling to right-center in Saturday's loss.
"We'll give it a shot," Torre said.
Ready if you need me:
Johnny Damon volunteered his services to Torre on Sunday morning, though privately he was hoping the manager wouldn't need to take him up on it.
As Damon guards a strained abdominal muscle, he is conscious that the more he swings, the less likely he is to be able to do so pain-free.
The Yankees' thought process coming into the Giants series was to steer clear of using Damon in all three games to give him a clear four days off leading into Tuesday -- DL decision day for Damon -- but the Yankees needed to use Damon as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning Saturday.
"I hope I don't have to swing today, but I told them I'd play," Damon said. "I know this won't get better if I do [play]."
Torre acknowledged that the Yankees will have to make a determination Tuesday, but said Damon is not thought to be likely to do further damage.
"It doesn't seem to be a danger," Torre said. "Of course we want to get it feeling better. If Tuesday it's not a lot better ... I think we possibly could DL him."
Right-hander Luis Vizcaino is working his way into Torre's circle of trust and could be seeing deeper opportunities in games before long.
Vizcaino threw two perfect innings in Saturday's loss and has not allowed a run in his last nine appearances, spanning 9 2/3 innings.
Finally, a chance:
Chris Basak has been with the Yankees since June 5, but he finally logged his first big-league at-bat Sunday.
Pinch-hitting for Mike Mussina in the fifth inning, Basak ripped a ball to the left-field corner, but it was tracked down on a nice running catch by Barry Bonds. Basak never saw the grab, though, as he hustled to second base and stood there as though he'd just stroked a double.
Eventually, someone let Basak in on the play and he jogged back to the dugout, where his Yankees teammates greeted him with laughter.
"He'll remember his first at-bat, because these guys will remind him about it," Torre said.
Basak nearly pinch-hit in the 13th inning Saturday, loosening up on deck, but was pulled back when Torre elected to let Scott Proctor bat for himself.
Torre decided against playing Posada, whose knee is "barking," after catching 13 innings in Saturday's marathon. Wil Nieves caught Mike Mussina and Miguel Cairo started at first base. ... Chien-Ming Wang will pitch Thursday at Baltimore, meaning that Kei Igawa won't pitch until Saturday vs. Oakland, pitching on seven days' rest. ... Bobby Richardson threw a ceremonial first pitch to Posada as part of a celebration of the 1962 World Series. Willie McCovey tossed to the Giants' Bengie Molina.
The Yankees enjoy an off-day Monday to trek back to the East Coast, where they'll open a three-game series with the Orioles on Tuesday in Baltimore.
Left-hander Andy Pettitte (4-5, 3.28 ERA) is on the mound for New York, with right-hander Jeremy Guthrie (4-1, 2.42 ERA) countering for the Orioles. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.