Yankees' Derek Jeter close to returning

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Derek Jeter might be making his first game appearance today since breaking an ankle last October in the AL Championship Series.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi made the announcement Friday, when New York lost to the Miami Marlins 6-1. He said he planned to talk with Jeter on Saturday morning.

Girardi said Jeter will be the designated hitter until he’s ready to return to shortstop. The Yankees play Atlanta in Tampa today, which also could be the first game appearance of Mariano Rivera since injuring a knee last May.

CARDINALS: Allen Craig, coming off a breakout season with St. Louis agreed to a $31 million, five-year contract that could be worth $43 million over six seasons.

Craig gets $1.75 million this year, $2.75 million in 2014, $5.5 million in 2015, $9 million in 2016 and $11 million in 2017. The Cardinals have a $13 million option for 2018 with a $1 million buyout.

The 28-year-old Craig has 150 RBI in 238 big league games and was sixth in the NL last season with a .307 average. He had 22 home runs and 92 RBI despite not playing his first game until May 1 following offseason surgery on his right knee.

WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC

JAPAN 4, TAIWAN 3 (10)

In Tokyo, Sho Tanaka drove in the go-ahead run with a 10th-inning sacrifice fly, lifting defending champion Japan over Taiwan in the second round.

Japan will face the Netherlands on Sunday with a chance to secure a spot in the final round.

NETHERLANDS 6, CUBA 2

In Tokyo, Jonathan Schoop hit a three-run homer to lead the Netherlands over Cuba in the second round.

Curt Smith homered and Andrelton Simmons, a member of the Atlanta Braves, added an RBI single to give the Netherlands a 2-0 lead in the second inning.

Schoop’s sixth-inning drive gave the Netherlands a 5-1 cushion.

ITALY 14, CANADA 4

In Phoenix, Chris Colabello drove in four runs with four hits, including a three-run homer, and Italy routed Canada to improve to 2-0 in Group D competition.

PUERTO RICO 3, SPAIN 0

In San Juan, Puerto Rico, Giancarlo Alvarado tossed four strong innings, allowing just one hit, as Puerto Rico won its Group C opener.


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