Jeter prefers discussing wins, not hits

New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira (25) New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira (25) watches his RBI sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth inning against the New York Mets at Yankee Stadium. Teixeira also homered earlier in the game. (May 21, 2011) Photo Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

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Derek Jeter is focused on the here and now.

The Yankees' captain refused to let the postgame conversation linger too long on his quest for 3,000 career hits despite inching two steps closer to reaching that milestone Saturday night.

"We're trying to win games. It's not on my mind right now," said Jeter, who has 2,973 hits after a 2-for-4 performance in the Yankees' 7-3 win over the Mets at Yankee Stadium.

Jeter preferred to talk about the Yankees' offensive turnaround, which included four home runs against Mets starter Chris Capuano. He praised the lefthander's ability to mix in an effective slider among fastballs and changeups, saying: "He pitched well. We were fortunate to hit those home runs . . . Sometimes pitchers are going to get you out. They have a job to do as well. So just because you have a guy in scoring position, [it] doesn't mean you're going to come through . . . But yeah, it feels good to get hits with guys on and score some runs, but more importantly, to get a win."

Jeter is a .381 hitter (120-for-315) in the Subway Series and has a 24-game hitting streak against the Mets dating to June 28, 2003. He's batting .485 (49-for-101) in that span.

Mets shortstop Jose Reyes also played well, tagging A.J. Burnett for three hits after going 0-for-17 in his career against him. But the soon-to-be 37-year-old Jeter held his own against his crosstown counterpart at the plate, in the field and on the bases.

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Reyes stole a base and leads the majors with 17 steals, but Jeter recorded the 326th stolen base of his career in the eighth inning, tying Rickey Henderson for the franchise record.

"You see that?" Jeter joked. "They told me about that when I came in. It's hard to believe. Rickey was only here, what, a year and a half? But like I say, you play long enough and try to be consistent and I guess good things happen."

Jeter is on the cusp of another "good thing." He had said during spring training that he planned to enjoy the chase of 3,000 hits. But despite being 27 hits away from becoming the first Yankee ever to reach the plateau, he still isn't ready to focus on it.

"You know what, it's still a long ways away," he said. "I'm really not thinking about it now. It's just more of staying comfortable. I think that's the biggest thing. If you stay comfortable, the hits will come, and then when you get a little closer, yeah. But now it's still a long ways away."

Asked what he considers "a little closer," Jeter flashed his trademark smile at the cameras and said: "One or two."

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