Derek Jeter(notes) ended his slump with a three-hit performance to finally tie Lou Gehrig atop the New York Yankees’ all-time list. He’ll try to move past the Iron Horse on Friday night against the Baltimore Orioles - the team he has more hits against than any other club.
Jeter looks to make history as the streaking Yankees host the Orioles in the opener of a three-game set, the AL East rivals’ final series of the season.
Jeter came into Wednesday night’s 4-2 win over Tampa Bay in an 0-for-12 slide, his longest hitless stretch this season. He ended it quickly by dropping down a bunt single to lead off the game, then doubled in the fifth inning and had a first-pitch single in the seventh to tie Gehrig with 2,721 hits.
The former Yankee captain held the record by himself for more than 70 years before being matched by the current one.
“I’m happy that I was able to do it here at home,” Jeter said. “We had so many special moments across the street. Hopefully this is the first of many memorable moments here at the new stadium.”
He’ll have the chance to deliver another one Friday. Jeter’s 267 hits against Baltimore are his most versus any opponent, and he has batted .302 with 22 home runs and 110 RBIs in 217 games against the Orioles.
“I have a pretty good feeling that it’s going to happen pretty quickly,” manager Joe Girardi said after Wednesday’s game about Jeter breaking the record.
Any hit Jeter gets off Baltimore starter Chris Tillman(notes) (1-3, 4.66 ERA) will be his first, as the rookie is scheduled to make his eighth career start and first against New York. The right-hander struggled in his last outing, giving up five runs in six innings of a 5-1 loss to Texas last Friday.
Pettitte pitched six innings and gave up four runs with five strikeouts in his last outing, a 6-4 victory at Toronto on Saturday. He has been dominant against Baltimore this season, going 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA in two starts.
That has also been the case for the veteran throughout his career. Pettitte went 6-0 with a 2.89 ERA in his last seven starts versus the Orioles and has gone 26-6 with a 3.56 ERA in 39 lifetime matchups. The 26 victories are his highest total against any team.
“We had the same opportunities,” manager Dave Trembley said. “It didn’t happen for us. It happened for them.”
Markakis has been tough for New York to get out this year, as he is hitting .356 with five homers and 12 RBIs versus the Yankees in 2009.
That hasn’t helped his team have much success in the season series. The Yankees have won 12 of the 15 meetings and 10 in a row.