NEW YORK (AP) — The perfect script.
Derek Jeter capped his Yankee Stadium farewell with a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth inning, the latest storybook moment in a charmed and illustrious career, to give New York a 6-5 victory Thursday night over the Baltimore Orioles.
Serenaded with adoring chants that echoed through the Bronx night, Jeter tipped his cap several times at shortstop and drove in three runs. He launched an early double off the wall and saved the best for last — a sharp, opposite-field single to right that knocked in the winning run.
It appeared Jeter’s tiebreaking grounder in the seventh would be the swing that sent the Yankees to a win when they built a 5-2 cushion against the AL East champions.
Not bad — but not Jeter.
Nope, he’s always had a flair for the most electrifying kind of drama — and this night was destined to be no different.
As if it was planned all along, closer David Robertson gave up a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to Adam Jones and a tying shot to Steve Pearce with two outs.
That only set the stage for Jeter one more time.
Jose Pirela hit a leadoff single in the bottom half against Evan Meek (0-4) and advanced on Brett Gardner’s sacrifice. Jeter lined the next pitch through a wide hole on the right side, and pinch-runner Antoan Richardson slid home ahead of Nick Markakis’ throw.
An elated Jeter jumped and raised both arms between first and second. Yankees players rushed out to engulf him as former teammates such as Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, Tino Martinez and Hall of Fame manager Joe Torre lined up near the New York dugout waiting to greet Jeter.