06/18/2005 11:07 PM ET
Jeter hits first career grand slam
Shortstop snaps 135 at-bat homerless skid with bases full
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter's resume didn't need much more to make it impressive, but the Yankees' captain added another line to it on Saturday, hitting the first grand slam of his career.
Jeter, who had never homered in 135 career at-bats with the bases loaded, drilled a 2-1 pitch from Cubs right-hander Joe Borowski over the wall in left-center field in the sixth inning, breaking the game open and giving the Yanks a 7-1 lead.
"I was trying to get a ball in the air, get a sac fly, because with a runner on third and less than two outs, you're just trying to hit a ball in the air," Jeter said after the game. "I hit it good, but I thought I might have hit it too high."
Before the at-bat, Jeter was 45-for-135 with the bases juiced in his career, an impressive .333 average. He had driven in 114 RBIs in those at-bats, but none of those 45 hits had left the ballpark.
"I thought I'd never hit one," Jeter said of his grand slam. "It feels good because it was an important part of the game. I'd be lying if I said it didn't feel good.
"I was thinking about it. Every time I went up there I was trying to hit one. I've been trying to hit one for the last three or four years."
Jeter followed up the slam with a solo shot in the eighth inning and capped the Yankees' fifth consecutive victory.
Jeter's 155 career homers entering Saturday were the most by any active player without a grand slam. That number also represented the most by any Yankees player in history without a slam.
"If you're going to hit one, it might as well impact the game," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "That put the game out of reach."
Now that Jeter finally has his grand slam out of the way, Philadelphia's David Bell now holds the distinction of the most at-bats with the bases loaded (118) without a slam. Tampa Bay's Alex Gonzalez has the most homers (132) without a slam, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.