- Last Updated: 10:39 AM, August 20, 2012
- Posted: 1:27 AM, August 20, 2012
In the fifth inning last night, Derek Jeter pulled a single to left field. That was his 163rd hit of the season, in the Yankees’ 121st game.
Last year, Jeter had 162 hits — for the season.
Jeter continued his superb campaign last night, delivering three hits, two of them doubles while scoring the game’s first two runs in the Yankees’ 4-1 win over the Red Sox. The 38-year-old shortstop has 50 multi-hit games this season and, not surprisingly, leads the majors with those 163 hits.
“I’m just trying to stay back, look for good pitches, hoping to find some holes,” Jeter said.
He opened the bottom of the first inning against Josh Beckett by cracking a double over Jacoby Ellsbury’s head in center field. He then scored on Curtis Granderson’s double. In Jeter’s next turn against Beckett, in the third inning, he slammed a ground-rule double to left-center, and later scored on a wild pitch.
Jeter added his single to left off Beckett in the fifth inning before grounding out in the sixth, his final at-bat.
Jeter, who had 45 multi-hit games last season, is scorching at the plate. He has played every game for 17 straight days, with manager Joe Girardi using him as the designated hitter four times in the last nine. In those 17 games, Jeter is hitting .351 (26-for-74).
“My hope was giving him a couple DH days could keep him in the lineup. So far it’s worked,” Girardi said. “He’s played extremely well during this long stretch.”
Batting .321 this season, Jeter is on pace for 218 hits, which would be the second-most of his career (he had 219 in 1999). He has 3,251 hits for his career, one shy of tying Nap Lajoie for 12th all time and four short of matching Eddie Murray for 11th place.
Can he catch Willie Mays (who is 32 hits ahead of him at 3,283) by the end of the season and move into the top 10? He’s on pace to do just that.
Jeter also has a four-hit lead in his quest to lead the majors in hits. Melky Cabrera — done for the year after a drug suspension finished with 159 hits, while the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera is close behind at 157 and the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen comes in at 156.Follow @NYPostsports