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Mon, 17 Sep 2012 09:27 PM EDT

For Derek Jeter, it’s always been about the team, with individual accomplishments something to look back on when he’s done with his Hall-Of-Fame career.

But Thursday night, the Yankees shortstop caught Willie Mays for Tenth place on baseball’s all-time hit list.

“(To be equal with Mays) in anything, it’s pretty special if you think about it,” Jeter said after his RBI single, his 3,283rd hit, helped the N.Y Yankees to a vital 2-0 victory over the hapless Red Sox. New York remained tied with the Orioles for 1st place in the AL East.

Jeter, playing one night after being removed from the game with an ankle bruise he aggravated running to 1st base, went 1-for-5 in the game. His bloop single (his major league-leading 195th hit of the season) in the 7th inning gave the Yankees the insurance run they required for their first 2-game lucky run in just about a month.

Phil Hughes pitched 7 1/3 shutout innings for his 15th win (3 against Boston), and the Yankees won the series despite going 2-for-34 with runners in scoring position. Hughes (15-12) was great, but he was overshadowed by Jeter’s milestone.

“It’s amazing. I mean it truly is; it is amazing what he’s done,” manager Joe Girardi expounded of Jeter. “I mean, that’s some kind of name (Mays).”

The Yankees, who haven’t been out of 1st place since June 10, took the field knowing they wanted a win to remain tied with Baltimore Orioles, which beat the Rays in 14 innings earlier on in the day. They rode Hughes to the key victory and now host the Tampa Bay over the weekend.

“We knew (the Orioles) won, but you cannot put any more importance on this game than the next,” Hughes related. “We just have to worry about what they’re doing or anything like that; just go out and win each game we will be able to control.”

Jeter concluded, saying, “We have to win our games. That’s the bottom line. It does not really make a real difference what they do as we can’t control it. All we’re able to do is control how we play, and we had an interesting game tonight.”

The N.Y Yankees won 3 straight from August. 13-15, then hadn’t won 2 in a row since before Thursday.

Jeter served as the designated hitter Thursday but recounted he could have played shortstop, a spot manned by Eduardo Nunez, who had 2 hits. Football betting lines

Andrew Jones hit a sacrifice fly in the 4th inning, and Jeter delivered in the 7th. Hughes, making his 100th career start, yielded 5 hits in outpitching Felix Doubront (10-9 and winless since July 18).

Hughes left with a man on 2nd and one out in the 8th before Boone Logan and David Robertson got out of that inning. Rafael Soriano pitched the 9th for his 38th save.

Doubront, 0-4 with an 8.27 ERA in his last 7 starts coming in, pitched into the 7th inning and threw sufficiently well to win. However, the pitcher who gets the most run support in the majors got none on this night.

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