Twenty years must seem to have flown by for Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter as he took the field for his 20th and final opening day at Yankee Stadium on Monday afternoon. The Yankees defeated the Baltimore Orioles 4-2 to cap Jeter's final opening day in pinstripes. He helped New York secure the victory when he doubled off the left-field wall and later scored on a base hit by Jacoby Ellsbury. Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda pitched 6 1/3 solid innings, surrendering only two runs and striking out four to earn his first win of the season improving his record to (1-1). Reliever Shawn Kelley finished off the game to pick up his first save of the year.
For the Orioles, their offense came off the bats of catcher Matt Wieters and designated hitter Nelson Cruz who each went 2 for 4 on the day and each picked up an RBI. Baltimore starter Ubaldo Jimenez lasted only 4.2 innings of work, giving up 4 runs on 8 hits and walking 5. He picked up the loss to drop to (0-2) on the year.
Though all the Yankees' players and coaches were honored Monday, the day truly belonged to Jeter who received loud roars of encouragement from adoring fans every time he came up to bat or made a play on defense. He was even given the honor of catching the game's ceremonial first pitch from retired teammate Mariano Rivera alongside former Yankees catcher Jorge Posada who caught another pitch from former New York pitcher Andy Pettitte. Together Jeter, Pettitte, Posada, and Rivera formed the "Core Four" who helped lead the Yankees to five world series titles over the last two decades. Jeter of course hopes to lead New York to one more title before he hangs up his jersey for good at the end of the season but for now he appears to be happy simply playing the game that he loves and wearing pinstripes while doing so.