Yankees victory moves Jeter within 7 of 3,000
NEW YORK — Derek Jeter admits reaching 3,000 hits is constantly on his mind. It’s unavoidable with everyone talking about it. And he also knows there are only four games left on the Yankees’ current homestand before they head out for a six-game road trip.
The race is on to do it at home.
Jeter had a pair of RBI singles to get within seven of the milestone yesterday, and New York pounded out a season-high 18 hits while beating the slumping Cleveland Indians, 9-1.
“I’d be lying to you if I told you I haven’t been thinking about it,’’ said Jeter, who singled during a five-run fifth inning and again during a three-run eighth, while also hitting a pair of long fly balls to the warning track.
“It’s impossible for that not to be in your head, because I’m around that all the time,’’ Jeter continued. “Yeah, I’d love to do it at home.’’
Curtis Granderson went 4 for 4 and drove in a pair of runs, but he dressed in peace as reporters huddled around Jeter. Brett Gardner did the same at the other end of the room after two doubles, a triple, and scoring three runs.
“It’s all over the place,’’ Gardner said. “It’s still a few days away, but everyone’s pulling for him every single at-bat.’’
Alex Rodriguez added three RBIs and scored a run to close within two of Hall of Famer Ted Williams for 16th place on the major league scoring list. Freddy Garcia wiggled out of enough trouble over 6 2/3 innings to win for the third time in four starts.
The Indians have lost nine of 10, though they held onto first place in the AL Central by a sliver after Detroit also lost. Cleveland will try to avoid a four-game sweep tonight.
“We’re going to have to tinker with the lineup and do whatever we can to try to get better,’’ manager Manny Acta said. “We were 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position today. You can’t expect to win when you do that.’’