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Game 7: Yankees vs. Orioles, home opener

od_white_2014It’s Opening Day in the Bronx! It’s also Derek Jeter’s final Opening Day. The Yankees captain said that he did not feel anything out of the ordinary on his ride up to the Bronx today, sensing all the normal season-opening jitters and butterflies, but that’ll change soon. Jeter is taking part in a pregame ceremony with the Core Four, as he and Jorge Posada will catch ceremonial first pitches from Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte.

“Everyone is human, so you have emotions. Everyone has feelings,” Jeter said. “Especially here, you play in so many big games. So many special games, throughout the course of my career. Yeah, I’ll be nervous, I’ll have butterflies before this game starts, but I do that all the time. I’ve just been pretty good at trying to control my emotions and not get too high, not get too low. Yeah, you have feelings, and there’s a lot of ‘wow’ moments playing here in New York. For me, I just thought it was always easier for me to play if I control my emotions.”

Here are the lineups:

ORIOLES (2-4)

David Lough LF
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Matt Wieters C
Nelson Cruz DH
Steve Lombardozzi 2B
Ryan Flaherty SS
Jonathan Schoop 3B

Ubaldo Jimenez RHP

YANKEES (3-3)

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Carlos Beltran RF
Brian McCann C
Alfonso Soriano DH
Brian Roberts 2B
Kelly Johnson 1B
Yangervis Solarte 3B

Hiroki Kuroda RHP

And today’s what you need to know, courtesy of the Yankees’ media relations department:

AT A GLANCE: Today the Yankees will play their home opener… is the first game of a 10-day, nine-game homestand vs. Baltimore (today-Wed.), vs. Boston (Thurs.-Sun.) and vs. Chicago-NL (4/15-16)… completed a six-game, season-opening road trip with a 3-3 record (1-2 at Houston and 2-1 at Toronto)… will play 18 of their first 31 games at home.
Are 3-0 this season when leading after six innings and 0-3 when trailing after six innings.

Yankees pitchers have allowed just 42H and 14BB in 51.0 total IP in 2014… have averaged 7.83 K/game and 2.33 BB/game this season.
No Yankees player has started all six games this season.

OPENING DAY FESTIVITIES: Gates will open to fans with valid tickets beginning at 11:00 a.m.… festivities will begin at approximately 12:30 p.m. with the introduction of both teams on the baselines followed by the presentation of colors by the West Point Cadet Color Guard, including a giant American flag being unfurled in the outfield… Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera will throw the ceremonial first pitches to Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada… following the game,  Pettitte and Rivera will receive the “Pride of the Yankees” Award at the 35th Annual Homecoming Dinner… Kelli O’Hara (Tony nominee and co-star of the Broadway musical The Bridges of Madison County) will sing the national anthem prior to the game and James Moye (from the Broadway show Bullets Over Broadway) will perform “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch… the Yankees ask their fans to please budget ample time when planning their trip to the Stadium and urge their fans to use public transportation.

Are 14-2 in home openers since 1998, 19-3 since 1992 and 25-5 since 1984 (after dropping two straight in 1982 and 1983)…won a Major League-record 11 straight home openers from 1998-2008.

YARD WORK: With LF Brett Gardner’s two-run HR in Sunday’s win at Toronto, the Yankees snapped a five-game homerless streak to start the season… was just the fifth time  since 1923 they had such a streak to begin a season (also 1990-7G, 1975-6G, 1964-5G, 1938-5G)… the HR also snapped the team’s 183AB homerless stretch to start the season… the Elias Sports Bureau notes that the Yankees have had only two longer droughts since the advent of the DH in 1973 (234AB to start 1975 and 229AB to start 1990).

BOTTOMS UP: Yankees 7-9 batters have combined to bat .338 (22-for-65) with 10R, 7 doubles, 5RBI and 7BB this season.

CURTAIN CALL: SS Derek Jeter has begun his 20th and final season as a Yankee, breaking a tie with Mariano Rivera (19 seasons), to become the longest tenured player in franchise history… leads all active MLBers and is the Yankees franchise leader with 3,320 career hits… on Sunday at Toronto, surpassed Paul Molitor (3,319) for sole possession of eighth place on MLB’s all-time hits list and fourth place on the all-time AL list.

Jeter passes Molitor, eighth on all-time hits list

TORONTO — Derek Jeter logged career hits No. 3,319 and 3,320 on Sunday against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, passing Paul Molitor (3,319) to claim sole possession of eighth place on the all-time hits list.

The pair of singles to right field off Toronto right-hander Drew Hutchison, coming in the third and fourth innings, also moved Jeter into fourth place on the all-time American League hits list.

Molitor, who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004, collected his hit total over a 21-year career with the Brewers, Blue Jays and Twins from 1978-1998.

After Molitor, the next name on both lists is Carl Yastrzemski, who logged 3,419 hits with the Red Sox from 1961-1983 and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989.

Game 6: Yankees at Blue Jays




YANKEES (2-3)

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brian McCann C
Alfonso Soriano DH
Kelly Johnson 1B
Brian Roberts 2B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Yangervis Solarte 3B

CC Sabathia LHP (0-1, 9.00)

BLUE JAYS (3-3)

Melky Cabrera CF
Maicer Izturis 2B
Jose Bautista RF
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
Dioner Navarro DH
Erik Kratz C
Brett Lawrie 3B
Moises Sierra LF
Jonathan Diaz SS

Drew Hutchison RHP (1-0, 0.00)

Teixeira placed on disabled list

The Yankees have placed Mark Teixeira on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring. Austin Romine has been called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Kelly Johnson will be the Yankees’ regular first baseman while Teixeira is out. Joe Girardi said that he could also use Dean Anna, Francisco Cervelli and Yangervis Solarte at first base as backups.

Mark Teixeira leaves game with strained hamstring

Even with all of their offseason remodeling, the Yankees never came up with a concrete plan to prepare for losing Mark Teixeira from their lineup for an extended period of time.

Four games into the regular season, they may be forced to scramble for a ‘Plan B.’ Teixeira strained his right hamstring in the second inning of the Yankees’ 7-3 victory over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, and while Teixeira hopes to avoid the disabled list, he said that he is “not super optimistic about it.”

“I definitely don’t want to go on the DL,” Teixeira said. “I’m really hoping that [Saturday] morning, I wake up, we go through some stuff with the doctors, and it feels good. But we’ll see.”

Teixeira said that he has been scheduled to have an MRI on Monday in New York. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Teixeira would be re-evaluated on Saturday morning, and suggested that the club’s travel schedule – they did not make it to Toronto from Houston until 6 a.m. ET on Friday – may have been a contributing factor.

“It kind of leaves you scrambling a little bit,” Girardi said. “Why it happens, and there’s always those concerns. Today before the game started, my concern was fatigue for guys. We don’t ever know why a guy gets hurt, but I was concerned about tonight.”

The injury occurred when Teixeira pursued a foul ball during the second inning, reaching for the back of his right leg. He gestured to the Yankees’ dugout and briefly spoke with Girardi and head athletic trainer Steve Donohue on the field before coming out of the game.

“I knew it was going to be foul, but I went and caught it anyway,” Teixeira said. “I just took an awkward step, and when I landed, I felt a grab in my hamstring. It wasn’t one of those excruciating, fall to the ground because of the pain [injuries], but it was significant enough that I knew something was wrong.”

Teixeira also strained his right hamstring in Game 4 of the 2010 American League Championship Series, effectively ending his season. At the time, the Yankees estimated a six-to-eight week recovery period, based upon the severity of that Grade 2 strain.

Teixeira said that Friday’s injury did not feel as severe, but he is frustrated after being limited to just 15 games last year by a right wrist injury that required season-ending surgery.

“It’s just really disappointing, because this whole Spring Training, my legs have felt really good,” Teixeira said. “No problems doing anything, and it’s just a weird thing.”

With Teixeira out of the lineup, Kelly Johnson may be pressed into more duty at first base. Johnson worked out this spring at first base and replaced Teixeira there after Friday’s injury, but he spent more time this spring getting reps at third base, where he was expected to be the regular starter in Alex Rodriguez’s absence.

“It’s day to day,” Johnson said. “I’m going to get more comfortable as I play more over there, just like anything. Not too bad. [First base is] a lot more similar to third than it is to second. Getting over there at third and getting to first is not too bad.”

The Yankees had Alfonso Soriano take ground balls at first base this spring, but abandoned the experiment, saying that there was not enough time to make him a serviceable option. They also talked about Russ Canzler as a potential backup first base option this spring; Canzler is at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and is not on the 40-man roster.

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