After a gushing ceremony on Tuesday and countless standing ovations over three days, the Derek Jeter retirement tour is finally exiting town, leaving behind a destructive path of three straight losses for the Mariners in their own park.
Jeter and his band — the New York Yankees — came, saw and dominated in a sweep of Seattle.
The last game he played in Safeco Field was productive, much like the whole series. The Yankees’ captain went 3 for 4 with two runs scored, two RBI along with about six standing ovations to lead New York to a 6-3 win.
In three games, Jeter went 7 for 12 with four runs scored, two RBI and two walks while being showered with almost excessive adulation for his every move.
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It made getting swept that much more galling for the Mariners, who hadn’t lost three straight games since May 13-17, when they had a four-game slide with two losses to the Rays and two to the Twins.
But after an eight-game losing streak earlier this season, manager Lloyd McClendon says his team won’t panic.
“It’s not the end of the world,” he said. “It was a tough series. I just told my players, ‘Be ready for tomorrow.’ It’s tough. It’s baseball. That’s the way it happens sometimes. We’ve been there before. We know we can survive it. We’ll be ready to play tomorrow.”
A packed crowd of 40,596, probably at least 40 percent Yankees fans — most of them clutching commemorative bobbleheads of local rapper Macklemore — saw a game that was pretty much decided after four innings.
In their second time seeing Seattle starter Roenis Elias this season, the Yankees were ready for him.
Back on May 1 at Yankee Stadium, Elias had 10 strikeouts in a 4-2 win.
On Thursday, he’d already given up two runs just three batters into the game.
Yankees hitters weren’t fooled this time. They took advantage of Elias’ command issues.
With one out in the first, Jeter dumped a single into right field as he’s done so many times in his career. Jacoby Ellsbury gave New York a quick 2-0 lead, hammering a line drive into the seats for a two-run homer.
“It was just a fastball and he hit a home run, what can I say,” Elias said.
Elias worked a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the second and his teammates cut the lead in half with Logan Morrison belting his first homer of the season, lining a solo shot over the right-field wall. It was a big step for Morrison after missing basically the first two months with a hamstring injury.
“It’s pretty cool,” Morrison said. “It’s definitely not the way I envisioned things going.”
Thursday was Elias’ shortest start of the season.
“I thought he had good stuff,” said catcher Mike Zunino. “I think with the big crowd maybe he was a little excited and let that get the best of him.”
“He didn’t have command of his pitches,” manager Lloyd McClendon said.
Elias allowed six runs on six hits with three walks and four strikeouts in 31/3 innings. “It’s baseball,” he said. “Sometimes you get the results you want. Sometimes you don’t.”
The Mariners shaved a run off the lead in the fifth inning. Brad Miller doubled and later scored on James Jones’ one-out single to make it 6-2. Seattle should have had another run, but Ellsbury made a fantastic leaping catch, crashing into the wall on a Robinson Cano drive.