NEW YORK (AP) — Derek Jeter began his final series at Yankee Stadium by breaking open the game with a two-run double, and he had three RBIs to lead the New York Yankees over the Baltimore Orioles 5-0 Monday night.
Michael Pineda retired his first 13 batters before J.J. Hardy singled sharply to left field, pitching 7 1-3 innings and combining with three relievers on a one-hitter. Jose Pirela , the Yankees’ team-record 57th player this season, became New York’s first player in 33 years to triple in his first big league at-bat. He went 2 for 3 with the go-ahead RBI.
Despite the loss, AL East champion Baltimore clinched home-field advantage in an AL division series starting Oct. 2 when Detroit lost to the Chicago White Sox . The Orioles open the postseason against the wild-card playoff winner or the AL Central champion.
Likely to miss consecutive postseasons for the first time since 1992 and ’93, New York closed within four games of the second AL wild card with six games left.
Fans are being allowed in an hour early before night games during the four-game series to watch the 40-year-old Jeter take batting practice. About 200 were on hand when the retiring captain came out for the first hitting group at about 4:15 p.m. , many holding up signs lauding the shortstop, who is sixth on the career hits list.
The crowd of 35,614 stood each time late public address announcer Bob Sheppard’s recording introduced the Yankees’ last player to wear a single-digit uniform number, and fans remained on their feet throughout each at-bat taking photographs and video. Jeter went 1 for 3 with a walk, hitting a deep flyout, a run-scoring groundout that made it 2-0 in the third and a double down the left-field line on the eighth pitch of his at-bat against Wei-Yin Chen (16-5) in the fifth. Jeter was serenaded by fans chanting his name throughout the ninth inning.
Jeter is 9 for 20 with three doubles, a home run and six RBIs on his final homestand, raising his batting average seven points to .256.
Pineda (4-5) struck out eight, walked one and lowered his ERA to 1.93. He got some rare offensive support from the Yankees , who had scored 19 runs in his previous 15 big league starts, and was given defensive help by second baseman Stephen Drew , who made a diving stop on Alejandro De Aza’s first-inning grounder. Shawn Kelley , Rich Hill and David Phelps finished.
Pirela, a 24-year-old who spent 731 games in the minor leagues in seven seasons, made his major league debut in the third. He worked the count to 1-1 and drove a changeup on one hop to the wall in left-center. Pirela ran so hard he stumbled after rounding both first base and second, then slid headfirst into third base, pounded the ground with his right arm, then popped up and clapped five times. The previous Yankees player to triple in his first at-bat was Steve Balboni against Detroit on April 22, 1981 .
Ichiro Suzuki , who had reached on third baseman Ryan Flaherty’s throwing error, scored from first. Pirela hit an opposite-field single to right in the fifth and advanced on Brett Gardner’s walk ahead of Jeter’s double. Chase Headley added a solo homer into Monument Park in the eighth off Ryan Webb .
Chen, the Orioles’ winningest left-hander since Jeff Ballard went 18-8 in 1989, gave up four runs and six hits in six innings. He had been 4-0 in seven starts since losing at Toronto on Aug. 6 .
Orioles : RF Nick Markakis went 0 for 3 with a walk. He had missed four games after his right shoulder was bruised Sept. 23 when hit by a pitch from Toronto’s Aaron Loup . … 1B Steve Pearce had a cortisone injection in his sore right wrist and missed his third straight game.
Yankees : 1B Mark Teixeira had a third cortisone shot in his surgically repaired right wrist on Sunday and hopes to play Tuesday. … LHP CC Sabathia played catch at the ballpark for the first time since season-ending knee surgery July 23 .
New York RHP Brandon McCarthy (7-4) starts Tuesday against Baltimore RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (5-9).