Derek Jeter didn’t stop at 3,000. Or 3,001. Or 3,002.
Jeter singled in the go-ahead run through a drawn-in infield in the bottom of the eighth as the Yankees topped the Rays 5-4 on Saturday.
Jeter singled in the first, homered in the third for his 3,000th career hit, doubled in the fifth, singled in the sixth and singled again in the eighth. He finished the day with two RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base. After his last hit, he was caught stealing to end the eighth.
It was Jeter’s third career five-hit game and second versus Tampa Bay. All three have featured a solo homer. He went 5-for-5 against the Red Sox in a 7-3 win on May 23, 2001 and 5-for-6 against the Rays in a 20-11 victory on June 21, 2005.
Jeter’s first three hits today came off David Price. The Rays left-hander gave up four runs in five innings in a no-decision.
A.J. Burnett also failed to factor into the decision. He left with a one-run lead after allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings, but David Robertson gave up the tying run after Johnny Damon tripled and Ben Zobrist singled in the eighth.
After Jeter’s single put the Yankees back on top, Mariano Rivera closed it out for his 22nd save. He still hasn’t allowed a run in 21 appearances at Yankee Stadium this season.
With 3,003 career hits, Jeter is four behind Al Kaline for 26th place on the all-time list. He passed Roberto Clemente, who died with exactly 3,000 hits.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.