BOSTON (AP) – Derek Jeter took the night off after his emotional final home game and watched a bunch of New York Yankees rookies beat a group of Boston Red Sox rookies 3-2 on Friday.
Watching from the dugout, there was little excitement for him to see one day after he provided plenty with his ultimate walkoff – a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth inning in the final home game of his 20 seasons.
The Yankees had five rookies in the starting lineup for the first time in more than 30 years and the Red Sox started seven, including pitcher Steven Wright.
David Robertson pitched the ninth for his 39th save a night after failing to protect a three-run lead, setting up Jeter’s dramatic moment.
Physically and mentally drained by his run up to retirement, Jeter asked for the night off but said he would be the designated hitter on Saturday and Sunday in the last two games of the season for both non-playoff teams.
That would give Red Sox fans a chance to cheer for the star they rooted against during the teams’ long rivalry. They wanted to see him Friday night, booing in the ninth whenever a hitter came out to the Yankees on-deck circle and it wasn’t Jeter as a pinch hitter.
New York gave Chris Capuano (3-4) a 3-1 lead by the time he left with two outs in the seventh.
Boston threatened to tie it in the seventh when Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo hit reliever Shawn Kelley’s first pitch for his second homer in his eighth major league games.
Bryce Brentz, who made his major league debut Sept. 17, gave Boston a 1-0 lead with a single in the second.
The Yankees went ahead 2-1 in the third against knuckleballer Wright (0-1) on an RBI single by Francisco Cervelli and a wild throw by second baseman Mookie Betts to first that allowed Cervelli to score.
New York made it 3-1 in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Zelous Wheeler.
Jeter had plenty of veteran company among the Yankees spectators with none of the regulars playing.
For the first time since Oct. 4, 1980, against Detroit, New York started five rookies, not including the pitcher, according to STATS.