Tender ankle not slowing Jeter's production

Tender ankle not slowing Jeter's production

MINNEAPOLIS -- In the Yankees' series-opening 6-3 win over the Twins on Monday night, Derek Jeter started his fourth game at shortstop since suffering a bone bruise in his left ankle, and he extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a ninth-inning single.

Manager Joe Girardi and the Yankees continue to monitor Jeter's status, with Girardi sprinkling in plenty of half-days during which Jeter serves as the designated hitter. That has allowed Jeter to miss only one game since injuring the ankle on Sept. 12 against the Red Sox.

Jeter's ankle continues to improve, Girardi said.

"I think it's a little better," Girardi said. "My fear is kind of -- it's just that one step that sends him right back to where he was. But I have not seen a limp from him the last few days, so that makes me feel better."

The injury certainly hasn't seemed to manifest itself in Jeter's performance. Prior to Monday, in nine games since Sept. 12, Jeter hit .293 with five RBIs.

Still, Jeter is learning how to ease off the accelerator at times -- specifically on some defensive plays.

"I think he's learning," Girardi said. "I think it's hard for him. ... I think he's doing a pretty good job of it."