"It's quite an accomplishment," Jeter said. "It's tough to enjoy it when we lost the game, but I'm pretty sure when this season's over and done with, I'll look back and get a chance to realize how special it is. Any time you talk about a list of all-time great players, it's pretty special."
Jeter went 3-for-4 with a walk on Monday, passing Yastrzemski with a two-out single to right field off Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish, coming on a textbook run-and-hit with Brett Gardner in motion.
"There's a lot of things that we're getting to see this year. It's been neat to watch," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He's passed a lot of people. He's been amazing."
The 40-year-old Jeter also laced a first-inning single to left field off Darvish and tied Yaz with a third-inning ground-rule double to right field.
"He showed what he is," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I hear a lot of comments about him being 40 years old, but he is a winning 40-year-old player. You put him on the spot, and he'll come through."
Honus Wagner (3,430) is in sixth place and is Jeter's next target on the all-time hits list, according to MLB.com and the Elias Sports Bureau. Due to discrepancies in historical statistics, some numbers may differ according to the source.
The top five players on baseball's all-time hits list are Pete Rose (4,256), Ty Cobb (4,191), Hank Aaron (3,771), Stan Musial (3,630) and Tris Speaker (3,514).
Yastrzemski collected his 3,419 hits during a 23-year playing career that spanned from 1961 through 1983, with all of those seasons having been spent with the Red Sox.
It was the fifth game of three hits or more this year for Jeter, who raised his season average to .278 and has multiple hits in six straight games played in Arlington.
"I've enjoyed coming here and playing," Jeter said. "We've had some good battles with them in the postseason, both on the good side and the bad side for us. But I've always enjoyed playing in this stadium. It's one of the places I'll miss playing."