Derek Jeter missed putting an unforgettable stamp on a day that was all about him by a few inches.
Still, the Yankees' home opener Monday ended with a result that matters most to the shortstop: a victory.
In the final home opener of Jeter's career, the Yankees beat the Orioles, 4-2, on a chilly afternoon in front of 48,142 at the Stadium.
Jeter, part of the first pitch ceremonies with fellow "Core Four" members Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada, went 1-for-4, doubling off the leftfield wall in the fifth inning, even delaying a bit as he left the batter's box thinking the ball would leave the park.
It nearly did, but felt just short, hitting off the 318-foot sign. A head-first sliding Jeter barely beat leftfielder David Lough's throw to second.
Jeter scored a batter later on Jacoby Ellsbury's single up the middle to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead.
Carlos Beltran singled and scored later in the inning to make it 4-1 and the Yankees (4-3), behind a solid Hiroki Kuroda and effective relief work from Matt Thornton, David Phelps, Adam Warren and Shawn Kelley hung on for the victory. Kelley came on in the ninth with a 4-2 lead and earned his first save with a perfect inning. After the game, the Yankees announced that closer David Robertson is on the 15-day disabled list with a pulled groin.
Jeter, though not credited in the box score, was responsible for the Yankees' first run.
Rookie third baseman Yangervis Solarte, who came in hitting .471 with a .526 on-base percentage, led off the third inning with a walk and sprinted for third base on Gardner's line-drive single to center. Jeter bounced back to Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who chose to start a 1-6-3 double play rather than try for Solarte at home, the decision giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead.
The Orioles came back to tie it in the fourth against Kuroda, who allowed two runs and eight hits over 6 1/3 innings. Adam Jones singled with one out and astutely tagged up when Brett Gardner made a leaping catch against the wall in foul ground in left on a Chris Davis drive. Matt Wieters followed with a liner up the middle on the first pitch, bringing Jones in to make it 1-1.
The Yankees took the lead for good in the fourth when Alfonso Soriano, who came in 1-for-19 this season, collected the first of his two hits on the day, scoring later in the inning on Solarte's single, the ball bouncing off a diving Nick Markakis' glove in right.
After the Yankees' two-run fifth made it 4-1, the Orioles got one back against Kuroda in the seventh when Nelson Cruz singled home Chris Davis, who led off the inning with a double.