KANSAS CITY– As a scorching 94 degree red and orange sun set on Kansas City, Derek Jeter ran out of the tunnel to a standing ovation from over 31,000 fans, for his final appearance in the blue and white Yankee pin stripes at Kauffman Stadium. Hal Steinbrenner said of Jeter, “He is unquestionably one of the greatest Yankees ever. He has meant so much to fans and the organization. I’m glad we have this year to celebrate everything he has meant to us and all the great things he still stands to accomplish. Jeter would finish the game with one hit and two RBI’s to help keep the Yankees in the hunt for a wild card berth in the American League.
The Royals hosted the Yankees in a make-up game Monday as both teams were looking for a win to get to post season play.
Navajo outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury had a stellar outing against Kansas City as he was able to record three hits alongside three RBI’s and record a home run to start the 9th inning off closer Francisley Bueno. Ellsbury also connected on his 1000th hit in the 8th inning adding vital offense to New York.
Ellsbury commented: “This was a big win tonight for us going against Shields, these are important games for us out here especially in August and September.”
The Royals entered the game winning 18 of their 23 games since August 1st to remain atop the American League Central. With New York trailing Baltimore by seven games in their division they decided to give Michael Pineda (3-2) the nod at starting pitcher well Kansas City went with James Shields (12-7). Pineda pitched had a solid outing, allowing only 5 hits and 1 earned run on his way to 5 strike outs in 6.1 innings pitched in only his 7th start of the season. “He could do pretty much whatever he wanted with the baseball,” catcher Brian M cCann said. “He’s got so much cut on his fastball that I feel like he could throw that literally every pitch and be very successful, and to add in a wipe-out slider and a really good changeup, when he’s on, he’s tough.”
Shields had much more of a struggle in this outing, pitching 6.2 innings, he allowed 10 hits and 6 earned runs including two home runs that were belted towards Kauffman’s famous fountains. New York held a small advantage 2-1 until the seventh inning where the Yankees took advantage putting up 4 runs to hold a 6-1 advantage. “For the last month or so, I think I’ve been pitching pretty well, for the most part. I had a little hiccup today, but that’s part of the game,” Shields said. “Sometimes you get hit. There’s a lot of good hitters over there, a lot of good veteran hitters, especially. That’s not a ball club you can take lightly.
Ellsbury also had a moment to talk about the importance of being Navajo and the exposure he hopes to bring to Native Americans:
“I’m definitely really proud of my heritage and where I came from it really means a lot that (Native Americans) support me and are behind me. I’m just really excited to be a New York Yankee and hope we can keep it rolling.” With just over a month left in the season the Yankee’s are hoping they can do just that.
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in NDNSports.com. Used with permission. All rights apply.
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