Saturday, July 9, 2011

After Making History, Jeter Makes the Yankees Winners

Yankees Jeter homers for 3,000th hit, goes 5 for 5

New York Yankees' Derek Jeter, left, greets teammate Curtis Granderson at the plate after Granderson hit a fifth-inning three-run home run off Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Jesse Litsch during a baseball game in New York, Sunday, May 1, 2011. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS / Kathy Willens)
New York Yankees' Derek Jeter, left, greets teammate Curtis Granderson at the plate after Granderson hit a fifth-inning three-run home run off Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Jesse Litsch during a baseball game in New York, Sunday, May 1, 2011. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS / Kathy Willens)
New York Yankees' Derek Jeter, left, greets teammate Curtis Granderson at the plate after Granderson hit a fifth-inning three-run home run off Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Jesse Litsch during a baseball game in New York, Sunday, May 1, 2011. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS / Kathy Willens)


 
NEW YORK — Derek Jeter homered for his 3,000th hit and raced right past the milestone in a scintillating performance Saturday, going 5 for 5 with a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning that gave the New York Yankees a 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Jeter doubled and had three singles while starting a pair of Yankees rallies and finishing off their last one. He bounced a single through the left side his first time up to give him No. 2,999, then sent a no-doubt drive into the left-field seats off Rays ace David Price in the third inning.
That made Jeter the 28th major leaguer to reach 3,000 hits, one of baseball's biggest milestones, and the first to do it with the Yankees.
It also set off quite a celebration in the Bronx, with teammates mobbing Jeter at home plate in a pack of pinstripes before he took a curtain call and saluted the sellout crowd of 48,103.
The home run was Jeter's third of the season and first at home since an inside-the-park shot July 22, 2010, against Kansas City. But the 37-year-old captain was just warming up in a turn-back-the-clock performance -- and the Yankees needed all of it.
Eduardo Nunez, perhaps Jeter's heir apparent at shortstop, doubled to start the eighth against Joel Peralta (2-4). Brett Gardner dropped down a sacrifice bunt to push Nunez to third and up stepped Jeter again, looking to cap his big day in style.
Tampa Bay brought the infield in and Jeter poked a two-strike pitch up the middle, giving New York a 5-4 lead and prompting another round of "De-rek Je-ter!" chants.
Mariano Rivera got three quick outs for his 22nd save in 26 chances, his first outing since blowing a save Sunday against the Mets. Rivera was out of action for three days because of a sore right triceps before pronouncing himself available to pitch Thursday night.
Curtis Granderson caught Kelly Shoppach's long drive at the centre-field fence for the second out in the ninth.
Granderson also had an RBI single to drive in Jeter, and A.J. Burnett struck out nine in 5 2-3 innings. He left with a 4-3 lead, but Tampa Bay tied it in the eighth against David Robertson (2-0).More...

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