The fact that Alfredo Aceves also did caught plenty of folks off guard.
Jeter had four hits including the go-ahead two-run homer, and Aceves held Toronto to one hit over the final four innings as New York rallied from a four-run deficit to beat the Blue Jays 10-8 and move a season-best 15 games over .500.
"I thought the bullpen did a great job. They're capable of scoring a lot of runs," said Jeter, who was picked for his 10th All-Star Game earlier in the day. "We're playing well, we want it to continue. We've got another week before the break."
It was New York's fifth straight win over the Blue Jays, whose five-run fourth inning gave them an 8-4 lead that never appeared safe on a day in which balls were again flying out of Yankee Stadium. There were four homers hit -- all of them to right field -- to raise the total to 139 at the new ballpark midway through the season.
He finally turned off the offense and in the process earned his first save. Manager Joe Girardi elected to let him finish the game rather than turn to All-Star closer Mariano Rivera, who had pitched four of the past five games.
"Ace was great. Ace knows how to pitch, and that's what you see him do a lot of, with all the different pitches he has," Girardi said. "He was great today."
Hideki Matsui homered and drove in four runs, and Jorge Posada had four hits and drove in three runs for the Yankees. Every player wearing pinstripes reached base, with All-Star first baseman Mark Teixeira walking three times.
"It was one of those weird games," Teixeira said. "It came down to the bullpen."
"If we would have had one more hit here or there, or if we would have kept them from scoring some runs on a few occasions, then we might have had a few wins here," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. "But that's the game."
The Yankees opened a 4-0 lead after the first two innings before Toronto scored three times in the third and put together its big fourth. Scutaro's two-run single off Joba Chamberlain gave the Blue Jays a 6-4 lead, and Hill followed with his homer.
Chamberlain was lifted after Lind singled, leaving to a sarcastic round of applause, and Scott Rolen pushed his major league-leading hitting streak to 22 games before the Yankees finally got out of the inning.
They didn't waste any time starting their comeback.
Teixeira walked and Posada singled before Matsui hit his 13th homer, slicing the lead to 8-7 and joining Ichiro Suzuki as the only Japanese-born players to score 500 runs.
New York pushed ahead in the fifth on Jeter's homer off B.J. Ryan (1-1), prompting chants of "Derek Jeter!" Johnny Damon walked moments later, and Posada's RBI double gave the Yankees' bullpen a cushion it wouldn't need.
"It was a tough loss, especially the length of the game. It was hot out there," said Hill, who along with Roy Halladay made the All-Star team for Toronto. "Especially in the AL East, especially with those guys, no lead is a comfortable lead."
It was another rotten outing in the Yankees' new $1.5 billion ballpark for Chamberlain, who must be beginning to wish they'd play the games he starts in the old place next door. He's yet to win in nine tries at home this season, and needed 86 pitches just to make it 3 2/3 innings.
The eight runs he allowed was a career high, although only three were earned.
Not that his counterpart fared much better.
Brett Cecil, an emergency fill-in for Scott Richmond, gave up seven earned runs in 3 2/3 innings. He was also responsible for five of the Blue Jays' eight walks in a game that dragged on for 3 hours, 44 minutes.
"I didn't think we'd ever get to the ninth," Girardi said, "the way things were going."
- Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez got the day off.
- Lind is one of five players up for the final spot on the AL All-Star roster in Internet voting.