Sep 18, 2014 10:03 PM
Jeter homers as Yankees beat Blue Jays 3-2
The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) Derek Jeter began his final homestand for the New York Yankees with one more stroll around the bases.
Jeter homered deep into the left-field seats against R.A. Dickey in the sixth inning, earning a standing ovation from his adoring fans and helping the Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 on Thursday night.
After Jose Bautista's tying, two-run homer off Shawn Kelley on an 0-2 pitch with two outs in the eighth, Chase Headley sent the winning run home in the ninth with a one-out grounder through the legs of first baseman Adam Lind for an error.
Jeter, New York's 40-year-old captain, ended a 158 at-bat homerless streak with the drive, just the fourth home run of his 20th and final major league season.
The ball landed about 10 rows into the stands, and Jeter smiled widely as he circled the bases. He exchanged high-fives with teammates when he reached the dugout, but didn't come out for a curtain call.
Jeter's average had dipped below .250 during an 0-for-28 slide the second-longest of his career before he singled at Tampa Bay on Wednesday night. The home run, which put New York ahead 2-0, was his first at Yankee Stadium since July 28 last year against the Rays' Matt Moore.
Jeter beat out an infield single in the first on a grounder shortstop Jose Reyes double-clutched, and had his first multihit game since Aug. 26.
Toronto bounced back when Bautista homered in his fourth straight game against the Yankees. He has hit seven of his 33 homers this year against New York.
Chris Young singled off Aaron Sanchez (2-2) leading off the ninth, pinch-runner Antoan Richardson stole second and Brett Gardner sacrificed him to third. With the infield in, Headley hit a two-hopper that went through Lind's legs, and in the dugout Jeter raised both arms in triumph.
David Robertson (3-6) pitched a perfect ninth.
New York (78-74) moved ahead of Toronto (77-75) for sole possession of second place in the AL East. But the win probably was too late to make a difference in the playoff chase: The Yankees closed within five games of Oakland for the AL's second wild card with 10 games remaining including the next seven at home.
Toronto, which hasn't made the playoffs since winning consecutive World Series titles in 1992 and '93, started the season 38-24 and led the AL East by six games before play on June 7. But the Blue Jays have sputtered to a 39-51 record since.
Shane Greene allowed three hits in 6 2-3 scoreless innings.
Dickey gave up two runs and five hits in six innings. He stretched his scoreless streak against the Yankees to 19 innings before Stephen Drew's RBI double in the fifth.
Blue Jays: C Dioner Navarro pinch-hit and stayed in the game after missing Wednesday's game because of dizziness. He was hit on the mask by a foul tip Tuesday.
LHP Mark Buehrle (12-9) starts the second game of the series Friday against Yankees RHP Hiroki Kuroda (10-9).