Derek Jeter and Alfonso Soriano’s arrival couldn’t have come at a better time for the New York Yankees.
Both men played pivotal roles in New York’s 6-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. Jeter homered in his first at-bat after missing 103 games due to a broken ankle and quad strain while Soriano also homered and drove in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth.
Jeter homered off the first pitch he saw from the Rays’ Matt Moore in the bottom of the first inning, sending the ball over the right-center field wall. A little while later, he took a curtain call from the sellout crowd of 47,714 at Yankee Stadium.
The home run was the Yankees’ first in 10 games. Jeter finished 2-for4 in his second return this season from the DL.
He started the 2013 MLB season in the disabled list due to a broken ankle he suffered in the 2012 postseason. He re-injured his ankle in April, recovered, and came back to the Yankees’ lineup on July 11 but strained his quad while running the bases. He was back in the DL the following day.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi put it aptly.
“He’s a movie. That’s what he is.”
Soriano, who was Jeter’s teammate with the Yankees from 2001-03, singled and scored in the first inning, went deep on a two-run shot off Moore in the third and delivered a line-drive single down the middle to score Brett Gardner to cap off New York’s walk-off win.
In only his second game back in Yankees’ pinstripes after a decade, Soriano sizzled with a 4-for-5 day with three RBIs and two runs scored, per ESPN New York’s Matt Ehalt.
“Very exciting moment. To again [be] back to the Yankees and have a game-winning hit, it’s a very special moment.”
Soriano’s trade to the Yankees was made official on Friday after he waived his no-trade clause.