ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays paid tribute to Derek Jeter, then plunked him.
The retiring New York Yankees star was hit by a pitch in the eighth inning and both benches emptied in the Rays’ 6-1 victory Tuesday.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi was ejected after Jeter was hit on the left hand by a Steve Geltz pitch in the eighth inning, and Yankees relief pitcher David Phelps was tossed after a tight pitch to Kevin Kiermaier leading off the Rays eighth.
“If you are going to pitch inside, pitch the right way,” Girardi said. “If you can’t pitch inside, don’t pitch inside. We are not pin cushions.”
Jeter went 0 for 2 with a sacrifice bunt.
“Sometimes things happen in games, but I thought what the organization did (before the game) was special and that’s what I’m trying to focus on,” Jeter said. “Sure, you get frustrated when you lose but you have to try to control your emotions.”
Jeter, retiring at the end of the season, was honored in a pregame ceremony. He is hitless in 26 at-bats, the second-longest skid of his career, dropping his batting average to .249.
“No one likes to get hit,” Jeter said. “Obviously when it happens it’s unfortunate; when it happens a lot, then yeah, people get frustrated. But it’s over with and done with. Let’s play the games.”
Among the gifts given to Jeter after a video tribute were a kayak in Yankees colors with the No. 2 on it and a framed Rays jersey of Tampa Bay senior adviser Don Zimmer, who died this year. Jeter developed a close relationship with him during Zimmer’s eight seasons as Yankees bench coach. Zimmer’s widow, Soot, took part in the ceremony.
The Rays broke open the game with a four-run seventh. Evan Longoria and Nick Franklin had RBI singles, and pinch-hitter Wil Myers drove in two runs with a sacrifice fly, a drive to deep center that Jacoby Ellsbury caught with a diving grab.
Jake Odorizzi (11-12) allowed one run and five hits over six innings.
Michael Pineda (3-5) gave up two runs and four hits in 5 1-3 innings for the Yankees, who began the night six games back for the AL’s second wild card. They have scored only seven runs in their last six losses, and watching Jeter get hit brought out Girardi’s frustration.
“I’m all for pitching inside, but you’ve got to know how to pitch inside because it’s extremely dangerous,” Girardi said. “I don’t know what they expect; you hit five of our guys in four games, you don’t think we’ll be pissed?”
Geltz, pitching in only his eighth game for the Rays, said he “was totally caught off guard” by Girardi’s reaction.
“It’s an 0-2 count. I’m trying to get him out. I’m not trying to hit him,” Geltz said. “It’s Derek Jeter. I’m not trying to hit Jeter.”
Jeter and Chase Headley have been hit twice each since Sept. 9 and Brian McCann once. Chase Headley was struck by Jake McGee on a chin last Thursday.
“I really don’t blame the Yankees for being upset right there,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “We’ve hit a couple of their guys, obviously none of it intentional. It happens once in a while and it’s nothing that we want to do. It’s nothing to apologize for, it’s just part of the game.”
INF-OF Martin Prado had an appendectomy and will miss the rest of the season. … 1B Mark Teixeira sat out with right wrist soreness. … RHP Masahiro Tanaka (right elbow) is tentatively set to return and start Sunday against Toronto. … C Francisco Cervelli (headaches) went 2 for 3 in his return after missing the previous 14 games.
Rays RHP Alex Cobb (9-7) and Yankees RHP Brandon McCarthy (6-4) are the scheduled starters Wednesday night in Jeter’s final game at Tropicana Field. … Cobb has allowed two runs or less in 12 consecutive starts, which is tied for the third longest stretch by an AL pitcher since records are first available in 1914.
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