New York Yankees second baseman Derek Jeter returned from the disabled list and made an immediate impact for his team against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday. In his first at bat after coming back from a quadriceps injury that derailed his first comeback attempt to give the Yankees an early lead against the Rays.
Batting second in the lineup, Jeter received a standing ovation from fans at Yankee Stadium as he strode into the batter’s box in the first inning. It didn’t take long for Jeter to make Yankee Stadium erupt. On the very first pitch of his return, Jeter drove Rays lefty Matt Moore’s 92 mph fastball out of the park to give New York an early lead.
The home run was his first in almost a year. His last came on September 9 of last 2012.
All in all, Jeter was 2-4 in his return to the Yankees, scoring two runs and driving in an RBI with the home run. He also drew a walk in the game.
With the offense struggling to put up the runs needed to consistently win games and climb back from a fourth place position in the AL East, New York is hoping that Jeter will take it a little easy on the defensive end so that he can remain in the lineup the rest of the season.
Jeter doesn’t think that will be easy to do. “It’s kind of hard because I’ve never really done it. I’ve come back from injuries, yeah, and taken a little time before I’ve run as hard as I can. But it’s not like I’m jogging to first base. I can’t do it; I don’t think I can do that,” Jeter said before Sunday’s game.
Thanks in large part to the efforts of Derek Jeter, the Yankees defeated the Rays to remain in striking distance in the AL East. Currently the Yankees are 7.5 games behind the first place Boston Red Sox, and 7 games behind second place Tampa Bay.
Very much in the wild card hunt, they need to make up just 2.5 games on the Baltimore Orioles in order to qualify for the one game playoff come October.
Derek Jeter showed that he has the potential to boost the Yankee offense to the level of production that it needs to operate at in order to comeback from the deficit it finds itself in presently. If his home run against the Rays was any indication, the Yankees and Jeter will make things interesting in the American League as the season winds down.
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Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express