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
Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

Local

Paint Nite: Get drunk and make a painting…

At Paint Nite, New Yorkers can drink and make a painting at a New York City bar.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

National

Donut capers stymie police in Oregon

For more than a month, mysterious vandals have been smearing pastries on cars, depositing donuts in lawns and leaving cakes strewn about the streets.

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

NFL

5 players to watch at Giants training camp

Metro takes a look at five players who will be on everyone’s mind when Giants training camp gets underway.

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.