CHICAGO -- Roger Clemens' last appearance on a big league mound came in Yankees pinstripes, and one of his former catchers isn't surprised that the Rocket is attempting to lift off once more.
Clemens, 50, has signed with the Sugar Land (Texas) Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League and is slated to start on Saturday against the Bridgeport Bluefish.
"Guys love to play; it's in our blood," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "If he still feels he can play and pitch and enjoys it -- I know it's not at the big league level, but God bless him."
Girardi and Clemens were teammates on the World Series-winning 1999 Yankees. Clemens finished his big league career with the 2007 Bombers and was acquitted in June of charges that he lied to Congress when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs.
For Jeter, four hits and a brush with iconic trio
CHICAGO -- Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter spent Monday night's 9-6 loss to the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field continuously revisiting the history books, associating himself with a pair of Hall of Famers and a third iconic player who may find himself in Cooperstown next July.
With a seventh-inning double off Brett Myers, his fourth hit of the night and the 3,255th of his career, Jeter tied Eddie Murray for 11th place on the all-time list.
Jeter had tied Nap Lajoie for 12th place with a first-inning single off White Sox starter Gavin Floyd. The captain moved into 12th alone with a fourth-inning rocket off left-hander Hector Santiago that was deflected by Chicago third baseman Kevin Youkilis, scored as Jeter's second hit of the game.
Jeter homered off Santiago in the sixth for his third hit of the game, pulling within one hit of Murray.
Jeter's homer -- the 251st of his career -- marked his 1,845th run scored, moving him past Craig Biggio (1,844) for sole possession of 13th place on the all-time list. Biggio is eligible for Hall of Fame induction with the Class of 2013.
Due to discrepancies in historical stats, some numbers may differ according to the source. Elias is the official statistician of Major League Baseball and recognizes Lajoie as having 3,252 hits, while other historical sources believe Lajoie's hit total to be slightly lower at 3,242.
A Hall of Fame infielder who was inducted into Cooperstown in 1937, Lajoie played from 1896-1916, including 13 seasons with Cleveland. He also played five years with the Phillies and four years with the Athletics in Philadelphia.
Left wrist strong enough for Teixeira to return
CHICAGO -- Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira returned to the club's starting lineup on Monday after missing three games with a sore left wrist.
Teixeira convinced manager Joe Girardi that his wrist felt playable after going through workouts at U.S. Cellular Field.
Slotted in the cleanup spot and playing first base, Teixeira said that he probably could have returned on Sunday against the Red Sox but thought another day could only help.
"I just needed him to tell me he felt good, his wrist," Girardi said. "I don't think he forgot how to hit in the last few days, so I'm not real worried about that. I just needed him to tell me his wrist felt good."
Teixeira had a cortisone shot administered in the wrist as he missed three games from July 31-Aug. 2, but he's hoping to avoid a second shot. He experienced a flare-up of the inflammation after playing in 14 straight games and said that it seems to bother him most when he swings and misses or attempts to check his swing.
Brief skid over, Cano poised to break out
CHICAGO -- Robinson Cano wasn't exactly turning his bat handles into sawdust during a recent offensive skid, but the Yankees' second baseman is pleased to have snapped his hitless string.
Cano singled in Sunday's 4-1 victory over the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, breaking an 0-for-16 slump. Cano still has just two hits in his last 26 at-bats but believes his luck is about to change.
"It's always good when you do something good," Cano said. "It's something that you don't want to go through, but the good thing is that we're winning right now. You don't have to worry about losing while you're not doing your job. Hopefully, we started something last night."
Cano said that he feels healthy after a stiff neck cost him some playing time, and he added that he has been hitting the ball hard at people. Yankees manager Joe Girardi agreed.
"Sometimes, people get caught up in the numbers and not necessarily the at-bats," Girardi said. "I don't worry a whole lot about Robbie. The only thing you need to worry about is his health, and physically, he's really, really good. I don't worry too much."
Cano entered play on Monday batting .305 with 25 home runs and 68 RBIs in 120 games and said, for the most part, he has been pleased with his season.
"The biggest thing for me is that I'm healthy, just to be able to help the team the whole year," Cano said. "Even if you have a great year, here it's about winning and the playoffs. I can't complain about my year."
CC Sabathia is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Field, tuning up for a potential start against the Indians in Cleveland on Friday, the first day he is eligible to be activated from the 15-day disabled list.
Girardi said that he wants to see how Sabathia comes out of the session before locking into a date and added, "If everything is good, we'll decide where we're going to slot him [in the rotation]."
Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki entered play on Monday having hit safely in 21 of his 23 starts with the club. He batted .526 (10-for-19) in seven games on New York's homestand.
On this date in 1938, Lou Gehrig hits his 23rd -- and final -- career grand slam off Buck Ross in the first inning of an 11-3 win at Philadelphia's Shibe Park. The 23 career slams have since been equaled by Alex Rodriguez, who accomplished the feat on June 13.