Jeter jump-starts Yankees in win over Twins
Derek Jeter homered and made a highlight-reel play at shortstop in the sixth inning to lift the New York Yankees to a 1-0 victory Wednesday over the Minnesota Twins in the completion of a game halted by rain the night before.
The Yankees and Twins had to push the pause button Tuesday after a thunderstorm forced an 83-minute delay and then suspension of a scoreless game after the fifth.
Their regularly scheduled matchup was still on tap for Wednesday night, about a half-hour after completion of this pitching duel started by A.J. Burnett and Scott Baker the previous night and picked up by the bullpens for both teams in the late-afternoon sun.
Let's play 1 1/2? Well, this wasn't exactly what Ernie Banks had in mind.
Jeter jumped on a 1-1 changeup from Brian Duensing (2-1) with one out in the top of the sixth and drove it an estimated 414 feet, all the way into the bullpen area behind left-center field to give the Yankees the lead.
Then in the bottom of the inning, after David Robertson walked Justin Morneau and gave up a two-out double to Jason Kubel, Jeter saved at least one run – if not two – by going to his right and back-handing a grounder hit by Delmon Young. Jeter used a crow hop to get in the air and fire a perfect throw to first base for the inning-ending out.
Mariano Rivera pitched a hitless ninth inning for his ninth save, making up for his only blown chance of the season 10 days ago when Kubel's eighth-inning grand slam at Yankee Stadium fueled the Twins to a rare victory over their American League nemesis.
J.J. Hardy led off the ninth by hitting a fly ball to left-center that reached the warning track, and pinch-hitter Jim Thome drew a one-out walk. But Denard Span ended the game by grounding into a double play.
The Twins stranded 10 runners in the game.
Burnett (5-2) picked up the victory despite knowing he wouldn't be pitching at all on this unusual day, which began without a national anthem or the player introductions with Target Field less than a quarter full. Fans who had tickets to Tuesday night's game weren't allowed back, due to a Major League Baseball rule. So those with seats for Wednesday night's game took in some bonus baseball.