Jeter returns with a splash, Soriano walks Yankees off with win

 

Derek Jeter did not want to be the savior but it’s fair to say Sunday he was the igniting force for an offense that had gone two weeks without a home run.

All it took was one pitch, as Jeter drove one the opposite way over the right-center field fence in the first inning of Sunday’s 6-5 win decided on Alfonso Soriano’s ninth-inning single.

“I’ll do what I always have — try to help us win,” Jeter said before the game. “My job is to get hits, get on base, score runs and help us win. We’ve been scuffling a little bit scoring runs so hopefully I can help in any way. But we need contributions from a lot of people, not just me.

Jeter’s first home run since Sept. 9, 2012 at Baltimore and first at home since Aug. 27, 2012 against Toronto came on his signature inside-out swing. He drove the ball into the first row of the seats behind the auxiliary scoreboard and adjacent to the Yankee bullpen.

“I just wanted to get a pitch to hit,” Jeter said. “Fortunately it was a fastball away.”

“He’s a movie,” manager Joe Girardi said. “That’s what he is. You think about his 3,000th hit, how he did that, and think about what he did today.”

“I played with him 2001 to 2003 and nothing’s changed,” Soriano said of Jeter’s dramatic return.

Jeter’s memorable home run also was the first by a right-handed hitter since June 25, a span of 28 games.

“We hadn’t hit a home run since the All-Star break; we hadn’t had a right-handed home run in a month,” Girardi said. “For him to come out and do that — that’s his first at-bat — he’s a movie.”

The Yankees fielded a lineup without a .300 hitter, but there was a different sense with Jeter’s second return, at least early on. Jeter, Soriano and Ichiro Suzuki were a combined 10-for-13 with two homers and five RBIs.

Jeter’s second return came after he suffered a strained right quadriceps trying to leg out an infield hit July 11 against Kansas City. The Yankees, specifically manager Joe Girardi, did his best to try to get Jeter to restrain his hard running on certain plays.

Jeter didn’t have to restrain himself in his first two at-bats. After the home run, he had a clean single just out of the reach of second baseman Kelly Johnson and then trotted home on Soriano’s first home run since re-joining the Yankees.

In his third bat, Jeter restrained himself a bit since he hit a ground ball that was cleanly fielded by shortstop Yunel Escobar for the final out of the fourth. On his fourth at-bat, Jeter ran the same way on a ground ball that required Escobar to move a few steps.

The other difference in this return came defensively as Jeter started at shortstop as opposing to being the designated hitter the last time. He started there after doing fielding drills in Saturday’s simulated game in Staten Island and also because the Yankees play interleague games at Los Angeles and San Diego this week.

“It was fun,” Jeter said. “I’m tired. That wasn’t a quick game by any stretch of the imagination but it was fun. It was fun to be back. I haven’t played short in quite some time here. I worked hard to try and get back on the field. I’m happy we were able to win a game and it was uneventful.”

Jeter’s first opportunity defensively came on the final out of the fourth inning when he moved about three steps to his right to field James Loney’s ground ball. He easily jogged a few steps to the second base bag and completed the play.

His second chance was on the second out of the fifth when he covered second base and caught the throw from David Adams on a ground ball by Jose Lobaton.

The early excitement from Jeter’s home run eventually settled down as the Yankee offense, one day after getting two hits in a 97-pitch complete game shutout by Chris Archer, went quietly after Soriano’s home run until the ninth.

“I try to do whatever I can to help our team win,” Jeter said. “Even if I didn’t hit a home run, if we won this game, I’d feel the same. It feels good to contribute. The first of anything is difficult to get — the first hit, the first home run, the first RBI, the first game.

“It feels great to contribute but more importantly we won. I wouldn’t have felt great if we lost.”

Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.