Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Nunez Totes Thunder to Yank Return

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Nunez Totes Thunder to Yank Return

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- Outside of his Yankee Stadium locker, Eduardo Nunez opened a duffel bag filled with Trenton Thunder hats.

He didn't know what to do with the caps of the Yankees' Class AA affiliate. They were useless in the Bronx, so he donned his navy blue Yankee hat and started at shortstop as if he never left.

Nunez went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored in the Yankees' 5-4 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday afternoon, the Bombers' sixth straight win.

It was the 26-year-old's first start since May 5, when he left the game with a ribcage injury.

"I feel more comfortable," Nunez said. "I have an at-bat here, an at-bat in Trenton, it's the game either way.

"I played four, five, six games. I think that's enough to be back."

Nunez returned to town late Friday night after going 3-for-3 that day in Trenton.

Manager Joe Girardi had said Nunez likely would beat Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez -- each in the early stages of their rehab assignments -- back to the Bronx.

That turned out to be an understatement.

"He brings another element with that speed, and he has the ability to swing the bat well and play defense," Girardi said. "That's what he did today. I know he didn't have a lot of reps [in the minors], but we had a situation where someone [David Phelps] went down, and we called him up."

Before the game, Girardi said he might give Nunez a couple of days off over the homestand because "he's probably not equipped to play the next nine days [in a row]."

Nunez's last RBI gave the Yankees the only lead they'd need Saturday. He slapped a single up the middle with runners on first and second. Lyle Overbay lumbered home to create a close play at the plate. He half-slid headfirst and half-barreled into Baltimore catcher Taylor Teagarden.

The graceless play did the job. Overbay touched the plate before Teagarden could slap a tag on him, and the Yankees held Baltimore scoreless for the final three frames. …

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