Tuesday, April 8, 2014

In Jeter's Final Home Opener, Yankees Take Care of O's


Every move Derek Jeter makes this season is going to be magnified to the nth degree, and Opening Day at Yankee Stadium was no different.

Before a half full stadium the Yankees did everything they could to make Jeter's final home opener into a Yankees classic. They tried to get the crowd riled up to give Jeter a standing ovation during team introductions -- which didn't exactly happen, ironically -- and then brought out Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada for a first pitch of the "Core 4." Where's Bernie Williams?

While it was one of many moments to come at Yankee Stadium for Jeter, he was probably happiest being on the field for the game, and happier with it's outcome. Jeter was the first to race out to the field when the Yankees finally took the field for the first inning, and was seen smiling and enjoying opening day as the day wore on.

Meanwhile, he let his teammates carry New York's 4-2 victory over the Orioles. Yangervis Solarte, who is quickly turning into a fan favorite, had a sparkling day. He was 1-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI. He scored the games first run on a double-play groundout by Jeter, and later drove in his sixth run of the year on a single to right to drive in Alfonso Soriano.

It was also a big day for Jacoby Ellsbury, who was making his Yankee Stadium debut in pinstripes, and he didn't disappoint either, going 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Hiroki Kuroda, rebonded nicely from a loss in Houston with a quality start against the O's. He held Baltimore to two runs on eight hits in six and a third innings. He improves to 1-1 on the season.

The Yankees continue their three game series with the Orioles, Tuesday afternoon.

NOTES: While all seemed right with the world on the home opener, it really wasn't. An odd sight happened in the ninth inning of the contest, that might have gone slightly unnoticed. Instead of David Robertson in the night, it was Shawn Kelly. While Kelly got the save, Robertson's absence is bad news. Shortly after the game it was revealed that Robertson would hit the disabled list with a grade one groin strain. Now the Yankees bullpen is in dire straits. Kelly is the only viable option to close with Adam Warren -- a guy who could really be a starter, and Dillon Betances, who is a rookie and learning the ropes of the majors.

If Robertson is to miss extended time it's bad news for the Yankees, who are already missing first baseman Mark Teixeira with a hamstring injury.

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