Advertisement

Astros take 1 + Yankees take 1 = Night to honor No. 2, Derek Jeter

By
Larry Fleisher, The Sports Xchange
Derek Jeter waves to fans on the field with at a ceremony retiring his number before the Houston Astros play the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in New York City on May 14, 2017. The New York Yankees former shortstop had his No. 2 retired and was also honored with a plaque in Monument Park. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Derek Jeter waves to fans on the field with at a ceremony retiring his number before the Houston Astros play the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in New York City on May 14, 2017. The New York Yankees former shortstop had his No. 2 retired and was also honored with a plaque in Monument Park. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees honored former captain Derek Jeter by retiring his number and giving him a plaque in Monument Park.

Alex Bregman grew up idolizing Jeter and wears the No. 2 in honor of the future Hall of Famer.

Advertisement

He found his own way to commemorate the occasion.

Bregman capped a six-run first inning by hitting his first career grand slam as the Houston Astros jumped out to a nine-run lead and held on for a 10-7 victory over the Yankees in the second game of a doubleheader on Sunday night.

RELATED Derek Jeter game tickets 340 percent more pricey than Bernie Williams' jersey retirement

Bregman's grand slam off Masahiro Tanaka occurred as Jeter concluded his press conference following the nearly 40-minute ceremony and his approximately 3 1/2 minute speech to the largest crowd of the season at Yankee Stadium.

"It's crazy," Bregman said. "It's an unbelievable moment.

"You watch all those moments Jeter had playing for the Yankees and you can tell by the fans' reaction how much he meant to them, how much he meant to the city and how much he meant to the game of baseball. You get chills watching some of those moments, the flip, the home runs, the jump throws. It was a very special ceremony."

Advertisement
RELATED New York Yankees will wear Derek Jeter hats Sunday

The grand slam helped Houston get a split of the doubleheader after Will Harris and Chris Devenski combined to allow six runs in the seventh inning of an 11-6 loss in the opener.

With two outs in the first inning of the nightcap and two runs already in, Bregman turned on a first-pitch, split-finger fastball and sent it into the left-center-field bleachers.

It was his first home run in a span of 143 at-bats dating back to last season. As he neared the dugout, he pointed to his mother, a Long Island native, who is among the reasons Bregman is a Jeter fan.

RELATED Reports: Derek Jeter-Jeb Bush group wins auction to buy Miami Marlins for $1.3 billion

After reaching the dugout, he pointed to the number on his jersey after getting congratulated by teammates, who gave him the often-traditional silent treatment for home runs.

"It was good," Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. "We were joking with him he needed to get a home run before National League (games) started because pitchers might catch him, so he obviously needed that. He's been working really hard, and I know some of the ups and downs of how hard he is on himself."

The third baseman's homer occurred after the Astros opened the game with solo home runs by George Springer and Josh Reddick.

Advertisement

"He finally got one," Springer said of Bregman. "I'm happy for him. It's a big one. That's a huge at-bat that inning, and he picked a great time to hit his first one."

Springer recorded his fourth career multi-homer game in the second inning, and the Astros took a 9-0 lead on an RBI double by Carlos Beltran off Tanaka later in the second and a sacrifice fly by Carlos Correa in the fourth.

The Astros scored their final run when pinch runner Marwin Gonzalez scored on a passed ball by Gary Sanchez in the ninth.

Brett Gardner had an RBI single among three hits, and Matt Holliday hit a three-run home run for the Yankees. New York also scored in the ninth on a wild pitch by Dayan Diaz, an RBI single by Starlin Castro and a run-scoring single by Aaron Judge, who reached third following a two-base error by left fielder Jake Marisnick.

The Yankees brought the tying run up against Ken Giles, but the nearly four-hour game ended when Aaron Hicks grounded out. Houston wound up winning three of four in the series.

Advertisement

"We had chances three of the four games," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We didn't get the big hit when we needed it."

Houston's Charlie Morton took a shutout into the fifth, and he allowed four runs and four hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out 10 and walked four.

Tanaka experienced his worst career start as he was rocked for a career-high eight runs and seven hits in 1 2/3 innings. He tied a career worst by allowing four home runs, and he matched the shortest outing of his career.

"No split, no slider," Girardi said. "He didn't really have either one. I can't really tell you why he didn't have them, but his split had no depth to it. Slider was kind of non-existent, and it's tough to pitch that way."

NOTES: Former Yankees captain Derek Jeter became the 22nd player/manager to get his number retired. Asked about reports he is part of a group trying to buy the Miami Marlins, Jeter said: "There's nothing to report, absolutely nothing." ... Houston CF George Springer extended his hitting streak to 13 games. ... Astros C Brian McCann took a ball off the mask in the fourth inning during an at-bat by Yankees RF Aaron Judge but stayed in the game after getting looked at by a trainer. ... Both teams used a 26-man roster for the second game as the Astros added RHP Dayan Diaz and the Yankees added INF Rob Refsnyder. Diaz allowed three runs (two earned) in two-thirds of an inning, while Refsnyder didn't play. Both players were optioned to Triple-A after the game.

Advertisement

Latest Headlines