Rapid Reaction: Yankees 4, Orioles 2

April, 7, 2014
Apr 7
4:46
PM ET
NEW YORK -- It was meant to be a Derek Jeter-palooza, a celebration of the Captain's final home opener, and Jeter did have the most impressive hit of the day. But aside from the brief pregame ceremony, there was very little festive about an Opening Day played under slate-gray skies on a blustery 50-degree day.

In fact, it had a lot in common with Jeter's first Yankee Stadium opener, played in a snowstorm in 1996.

But those of the sellout crowd of 48,142 who stuck it out to the bitterly cold end went home happy, as the Yankees hung on for a 4-2 victory over the Orioles, despite some more RISP failures early and an anxious seventh inning for Hiroki Kuroda (6 1/3 innings, 8 hits, 2 earned runs).

Captain crush: It was only fitting that the man of the hour had the hit of the day. Jeter led off the fifth inning with a line-drive double off the left-field wall that missed being a home run by no more than a foot. Jeter then scored on Jacoby Ellsbury's single to center.

Mighty Adam: Adam Warren walked the first batter he faced in the eighth inning, but then mowed down the heart of the O's batting order, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and Chris Davis -- the latter two on strikes. He froze Davis with a perfect slider to preserve the 4-2 lead.

Walk in the park: The Yankees finally took advantage of the free baserunners being handed out by Baltimore pitching in the fifth. Starter Ubaldo Jimenez's fifth walk of the game loaded the bases and chased him to the showers. His replacement, Zach Britton, promptly walked the first batter he faced, Kelly Johnson, to make it 4-1.

True Yangy: Yangervis Solarte continues to deliver, with an RBI single in the fourth inning that gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead. Markakis nearly made a great diving catch on the sinking liner but squeezed the ball out at the last minute. Through his first week in the big leagues, Solarte is hitting .474 with a 1.232 OPS.

Untimely hitting: The Yankees got runners to first and third with one out in the second, and to first and second with none out in the third, and came away with just one run on a Jeter double-play grounder. The first time, Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson struck out to end the threat.

Poor assumption: Remember the old one your dad used to tell you about what happens when you assume? Well, it's a favorite of Joe Girardi's also. But it appears the manager ignored his own advice in the fifth inning when Ellsbury was called out stealing second, although replays showed Ryan Flaherty never got the tag down in time. But because Matt Wieters' throw clearly beat Ellsbury to the bag, Girardi must have assumed the runner was out. Hence, no challenge. Oh, well.

Cold day, warm welcome: As expected, Jeter got loud ovations during the opening introductions and before his first at-bat, although perhaps not as loud or as sustained as expected, because of the chilly weather. Jeter's introduction ovation lasted 9 seconds. The cheers for his first at-bat weren't enough to cause him to step out of the box, or for Jimenez to step off the rubber.

No way to treat a Captain: Jimenez struck Jeter out swinging on a nasty 2-2 fastball in his first at-bat, and got him to tap into a 1-6-3 double play in his second, although that one allowed a run to score from third.

Who, me? Solarte, facing his first "Roll Call," had no idea he was supposed to acknowledge the Bleacher Creatures who chanted his name until Jeter, ever the mentor, instructed him to wave his glove toward right field.

Pitch perfect: It was a nice moment as the ceremonial first pitches -- thrown simultaneously, side by side -- were delivered by Mariano Rivera to Jeter, and by Andy Pettitte to Jorge Posada. No umpires, but when they got done, let's say the count was 0-2.

What's next: Game 2 of this 10-day, nine-game homestand matches Ivan Nova (1-0, 3.18) and fellow righty Wei-Yin Chen (0-1, 6.35), first pitch at 1:05 p.m. ET.
Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.271 16 70 71
OTHER LEADERS
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
WM. Tanaka 13
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146