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Derek Jeter homers while Yankees top Blue Jays on walk-off error

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiHoward Simmons/New York Daily News Derek Jeter shows he still has a flare for dramatic, rounding the bases after hitting a home run in the opener of his final Yankee home stand.



Derek knows drama.


With the final home stand of his legendary career officially underway, Derek Jeter gave the Yankee Stadium fans another thrilling moment, drilling his first home run in nearly seven weeks to help lead the Yankees to a 3-2 win over the Blue Jays.


Chase Headley’s ground ball scooted through the legs of first baseman Adam Lind’s legs to score the game-winning run, but Jeter’s home run was the definitive highlight for the 34,279 in the Bronx.


Jeter – who finished the night 2-for-4 – hadn’t gone deep since August 1, a stretch of 158 at-bats. But when R.A. Dickey threw a 3-1 fastball to the Captain, Jeter belted a line drive into the seats, setting off a wild celebration.


No, it wasn’t the World Series, but for fans getting what might have been their final look at No. 2, it didn’t seem to matter. The crowd tried to urge Jeter out of the dugout for a curtain call, but Brian McCann grounded out on the next pitch, ending the fans’ bid.


Shane Greene gave the Yankees another impressive outing, blanking the Blue Jays on three hits over 6.2 innings. Greene walked two and struck out six, but the bullpen couldn’t finish the job for the rookie as Shawn Kelley gave up a game-tying home run by Jose Bautista in the eighth.


Chris Young started the rally in the ninth with a single against Aaron Sanchez, then pinch-runner Antoan Richardson stole second to move into scoring position. Brett Gardner bunted Richardson to third, where he scored on Lind’s game-ending error.


Stephen Drew gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the fifth with an RBI double. Jeter’s sixth-inning home run doubled the lead to two runs, but Greene put two runners on in the seventh, giving the Blue Jays a chance to get back in the game.

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiHoward Simmons/New York Daily News Jeter’s solo home run in the sixth inning could be the last of his career.


Girardi brought in Dellin Betances, who retired pinch-hitter Dioner Navarro to strand the tying runs on base.


Instead of bringing Betances back out, Girardi turned to Shawn Kelley in the eighth. Kelley got two quick outs before Jose Reyes singled, giving Bautista a chance to tie the game with one swing.


Which is exactly what he did.


Bautista crushed an 0-2 fastball into the left-field seats, his two-run home run squaring the game at 2-2.


Although the Yankees’ postseason chances remain mathematically alive, it was clear based on the vibe at the Stadium that those miniscule


Before the game, Joe Girardi predicted a love fest for Jeter during the final eight home games of his career.


“I think it will be a great atmosphere, and I think it will be standing ovation after standing ovation,” Girardi said before the first of Jeter’s eight final home games. “I’m interested to see it play out in a sense, what it’s like and does it build up or is it the same all the way through?”

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiHoward Simmons/New York Daily News Adam Warren blows the lead by giving up a two-run home run to Jose Bautista.


Fans greeted Jeter with huge receptions before each of his at-bats, but those were just appetizers for the reaction he received after hitting the home run.


Girardi and Jeter have both shied away from the words “farewell tour” this season, focusing instead on the team’s quest to return to the postseason. But with a six-game wild card deficit and only 11 games remaining on the schedule, the harsh reality is that Jeter’s final home stand will likely see the Yankees eliminated from contention, leaving the Captain as the primary focus the rest of the way.


While the next week figures to be a celebration of the future Hall of Famer, Girardi believes it will get emotional for the 40-year-old shortstop.


“I think it’s going to mean a lot but I also think it’s going to be difficult, just because of what baseball has meant to his life and what the Yankees have meant to him and what he’s meant to this city,” Girardi said. “I think it will be difficult for him emotionally.”


Only one of Jeter’s 2,738 career games have come with the Yankees no longer in playoff contention. Barring a miraculous week, that number figures to swell in the coming days.


“That’s really unbelievable, to think about that,” Girardi said. “That tells you what he’s meant to this organization and how big a part of it he’s been. It would be hard to mention a lot of names that have ever been through that.


“As hard as last year was for him, this will probably be harder.”





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