NEW YORK — Derek Jeter tied the New York Yankees record for hits held by Lou Gehrig.
Jeter singled to right field in the seventh inning for his third hit Wednesday night against Tampa Bay, matching Gehrig with 2,721 hits in a Yankees uniform.
Already on their feet in anticipation, fans at Yankee Stadium let loose with a roar when Jeter’s sharp grounder inside the first-base line got by a diving Chris Richard.
Jeter’s parents, watching from an upstairs box between home plate and first base, raised their arms and exclaimed in excitement.
Jeter took off his helmet and twice waved it to the crowd of 45,848 during an ovation that lasted about two minutes. Rays players and coaches clapped as Jeter stood at first base.
After entering the game in an 0-for-12 slump, his longest hitless stretch this season, Jeter broke out of the rut with a bunt single toward third base leading off the bottom of the first inning. He beat the play without a throw, bringing a standing ovation from the crowd.
With cameras flashing all around the ballpark on every pitch to Jeter, he grounded out in the third inning against Rays starter Jeff Niemann and drove a ground-rule double to straightaway centre in the fifth.
On his first chance to tie Gehrig, Jeter came through.
Gehrig’s final hit came on April 29, 1939, a single against the Washington Senators. He was 35 years, 314 days old.
The Iron Horse had held the club record for hits since Sept. 6, 1937, when he passed Babe Ruth.