Derek Jeter’s hit total rising as Yankees falling

Jeter led off the game with a double - his 2,998th career hit.

It seemed possible that Derek Jeter might actually get the three hits necessary for 3,000 on Thursday night.

On the first pitch he saw in his 2,361th career game, the Yankee captain roped a double to center field for hit 2,998.

“You think about it because everywhere you go there are signs and people are mentioning it,” Jeter said. “But I’d be lying to you if I thought it wasn’t attainable [tonight].”

That moment was fleeting though as Jeter could not push forward to the 3,000-hit milestone and was unable to deliver what the fans giving the Yankee captain thunderous ovations were anticipating while witnessing a 5-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

var params = {wmode: ‘opaque’}; addPlayer(’06c7c348-13be-4bf5-b1f0-8f1e92cfcb4c’, ”, 13191, ‘zoken3lubvvk1fy20obmge9zx’, true, false, ‘zoken3lubvvk1fy20obmge9zx’, ‘eplayer2′);

The 3,000th hit will have to wait at least until Friday night against Jeremy Hellickson. On Saturday he will face All-Star David Price. If it doesn’t happen at those junctures, the final chance before the All-Star break would be Sunday against James Shields.

“He got one and you know he’s probably going to get three more at-bats and it’s a possibility,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “But we’ll have to wait another day.”

Jeter saw 12 pitches in his four at-bats against Jeff Niemann, the same starter he had three hits off two years ago to tie Lou Gehrig’s team record. Jeter could not breakthrough this time with his third three-hit game of the year and first in nearly two months.

Niemann retired Jeter on three grounders, including two to third baseman Sean Rodriguez. The closest Jeter was to a hit occurred in the fifth as Tampa Bay’s infield played back after Jeter showed bunt on the first pitch.

After laying off a curveball, Jeter hit a fastball in Rodriguez’s direction. As Rodriguez ranged and spun to his left towards the foul line, Jeter raced out of the box but could not beat the throw.

“We were joking around on the bench that I put three balls a year down the third base line and he caught one,” Jeter said. “It’s unfortunate but I thought it was going to be by him at first.”

“He’s an athletic kid that can play all over the diamond,” Girardi said of Rodriguez. “He probably took one away from him tonight; he made a good play when he had to range to his right and dove. It’s unfortunate.”

In his next at-bat — with two outs and one on in the seventh — Jeter saw seven pitches and fouled off three straight. He would groundout to shortstop Reid Brignac.

Jeter’s spot came up for the final time with two outs in the ninth after Brett Gardner reached on a wild pitch. Facing ex-Yankee Kyle Farnsworth, Jeter saw four pitches before hitting his third grounder of the game to third base for the final out.

“You don’t see that often, a strikeout then a wild pitch,” Jeter said. “I had another opportunity but more importantly than just another opportunity, you’re trying to extend the game and it didn’t happen tonight.”

Whenever Jeter reaches 3,000 hits, he will become the sixth to reach it in 17 seasons or fewer. The others are Pete Rose, Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, Ty Cobb and Paul Waner. He also will join Honus Wagner and Cal Ripken Jr. as the third member to join the club playing primarily at shortstop.

Overlooked due to Jeter’s quest, Niemann pitched a terrific game. Niemann allowed just a Robinson Cano home run and six hits overall before exiting with one out in the eighth.

While there is no certainty on the date of Jeter’s hit, attending it will be costly for those without tickets. At the final pitch, the average ticket price according to the ticketing website started at 88 dollars with ticketing fees and roughly an hour afterwards the price rose to 105 dollars.

“It’s inevitable,” Nick Swisher said. “It’s going to happen and I can’t wait for it.”

Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @larryfleisher.


Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.


Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.


OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…


Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."


Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."


'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…


Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.


Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.


Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.


Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…


How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.


VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.


#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.