Derek Jeter gets 200th hit, ties Gehrig

Updated: September 20, 2012, 11:52 AM ET
By Ian Begley | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Another night, another milestone for Derek Jeter.

The New York Yankees shortstop led off the bottom of the first inning of Wednesday night's game against the Toronto Blue Jays with a single, giving him 200 hits for the season.

This is Jeter's eighth career 200-hit season, tying him with Lou Gehrig for the most by a Yankee. The first-inning single also extended Jeter's hitting streak to 13 games.

"It's a lot of hits," Jeter said after the Yankees' 2-1 win. "I've always felt that if I was healthy and I go out there and play every day, it's something I'd have a chance to do."

Jeter, 38, is the oldest player to collect at least 200 hits in a season since Paul Molitor did so at age 40 in 1996. Jeter is the sixth-oldest player to reach the 200-hit plateau.

He's also just the fourth player to record a 200-hit season 14 or more years after doing it for the first time. Ty Cobb, Molitor and Pete Rose are the others.

So how did Jeter get there this season?

"I always try to stay consistent," he said after the Yankees won their fourth straight. "If you're consistent throughout the course of the year, then you have a chance to do it."

Jeter also returned to shortstop for the first time in a week in Wednesday's night game, the second of a doubleheader against the Blue Jays.

A bothersome ankle injury has relegated him to being the team's primary designated hitter. Jeter aggravated his left ankle last Wednesday in Boston. Since then, manager Joe Girardi has used him as the team's DH. Jeter did not play in New York's 4-2 victory during the day portion of the doubleheader.

Prior to Wednesday's matinee opener, the Yankees had not played since Sunday because of an off day Monday and a rainout Tuesday, so Jeter had a chance to rest the injury.

"Physically, I was fine," Jeter said after playing nine innings on Wednesday. "I was nervous (about being out of synch)."

Added Girardi: "I never saw him limp once today. It's been a while since we've seen that."

Jeter, who went 1 for 4 in the nightcap, is hitting .322 on the season. He now has 3,288 hits for his career and recently passed Willie Mays to move into 10th place on the all-time hits list.

"It just shows you how great of a player he is and how great of a year he's had for us," Girardi said.

Next up for Jeter? Eddie Collins, ninth on the all-time hits list with 3,313.

ESPNNewYork.com's Andrew Marchand and Mike Mazzeo contributed to this report.

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