Sean Rodriguez of the Tampa Bay Rays apparently has no sense of history. After Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees doubled to lead off Thursday's game against the Rays, pushing his career hit total to 2,998, Rodriguez made two nice plays to deny Jeter the opportunity to reach 3,000 hits.
Rodriguez, playing third base, made a diving stab of a groundball down the line and threw Jeter out in the third inning. He then ended the game by making a nice play on a slow roller by Jeter, charging it and throwing Jeter out with two runners on base.
Jeter had started the game with a flourish, ripping Jeff Niemann's first pitch into left-center field for a double.
"After the first one, I'd be lying to you if I didn't think it was attainable today," admitted Jeter. "Niemann did a great job ... He settled down."
The atmosphere at Yankee Stadium was fitting. There were signs dotted throughout the Stadium counting down to 3,000. There were loud ovations for Jeter each time he stepped to the plate. Flashbulbs were popping on every pitch. There was, however, no history made.
Jeter will get his next opportunity Friday night with Jeremy Hellickson the starting pitcher for the Rays. Jeter has only two career at-bats against Hellickson, with one hit.