There’s always something special about a home opener, but the New York Yankees playing the Baltimore Orioles was even more unique due to the Derek Jeter factor and everything that came with it, with a 4-2 win that didn’t really stand out as much as the significance of the occasion.
Jeter playing in his last home opener. There are going to be a lot of lasts, which will eventually be his last game. The Yankees are hoping it’ll be in the playoffs, and not with another season ending early, after “only” 162 games.
Jeter got the show running by grounding out into a double play, but it still didn’t stop Yangervis Solarte from producing the first run of the game. Jeter finished with 1-of-4 on the day, helping Jacoby Ellsbury (whose name was spelled wrong at the beginning of the day) get an RBI in the 5th inning that put the Yankees 2-1 up. It’s been quite a start for Solarte this season, batting .450 so far with 6 RBIs through the first seven games.
Matt Wieters of the Orioles hit a single that scored Adam Jones and momentarily tied the game at 1, but the Yankees had a very comfortable time with Ubaldo Jimenez. Solarte singled to right in the 4th inning, helping Alfonso Soriano score and put the Yankees in the lead again, followed by Ellsbury’s RBI and a fourth run that came from the bases being loaded, and Kelly Johnson drawing the walk out of Britton, scoring Carlos Beltran.
DH Nelson Cruz singled to left in the 7th inning to bring back the Orioles within touching distance, but it was an excellent pitching performance overall from the Yankees. Hiroki Kuroda picked up his first win of the season (1-1, 2.92 ERA), going 6.1 innings and allowing 8 hits and 2 runs while striking out 4 batters. Four players followed him, none of them allowing a hit, with the finish from Adam Warren and Shawn Kelley, picking up his first save of the season, being extremely strong.
Nothing really good can be said about Jimenez’ start, losing for the second time this season and not making it out of the fifth inning. He allowed two hits and four runs not to mention walking five batters while striking out four in another rough start for the 30 year old, allowing a batting average of .310 against him so far this season. Things settled down with Britton and Webb coming on for him, but the Orioles didn’t generate enough offense to make those changes matter.
The series continues as the Yankees are hoping to win a third consecutive game, with Ivan Nova (1-0, 3.18 ERA) starting on the mound. Wei-Yin Chen (0-1, 6.35 ERA) will try and redeem himself from his rough debut this season, with the Orioles trying to shake off their 2-5 start.
Every day I look and Derek Jeter is playing next to me. I saw him since I was little and I could never even fathom that I would get to play with him on the same field. Every day I try to learn something from him.