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Slumping Jeter out of Saturday's lineup

Slumping Jeter out of Saturday's lineup

ARLINGTON -- The batting average that will be displayed for Derek Jeter's next at-bat promises to be his lowest of the season to date, but the Yankees shortstop didn't see it in Saturday's starting lineup.

Continuing to fight a persistent slump that has him with just seven hits in 61 at-bats, Jeter was kept out of New York's batting order against the Rangers, one night after the captain went 1-for-7 in a 13-inning loss at Texas to drop his average to .260.

"At this point in the season, you're really not going to do too much to change where you are," Jeter said. "Now, you just try to get a good swing going. We've got three weeks left, I believe, and the postseason hopefully. That's what your goal is."

Jeter said that he did not necessarily need a day off, and noted that he can't get more hits by not being in the lineup, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that resting Jeter was more as a nod to New York's five-hour-plus contest Friday than the offensive skid.

"He's struggling. I don't think there's any question that he's struggling," Girardi said. "You always have that decision -- does he need a day off to get back on track or does he need to keep playing? You never really know the answer. But today's day off is more that we played five hours last night."

A career .317 hitter entering the season, Jeter's dip to nearly 60 percentage points below his lifetime average is a concern, Girardi said. And there have been recent chances to get it right.

In the 12th inning Tuesday, Jeter batted with the potential go-ahead run at third base and one out, managing only a ground ball to first base that did not move Brett Gardner home.

"Any time you scuffle, it seems like balls you hit good, they catch," Jeter said. "Balls you don't hit good, they catch. Balls you don't hit, they catch. That's just how it goes. I wish I had an explanation."

Jeter is coming off a homestand when he was 5-for-36 (.139), but he promises that he won't bunch them all up and allow it to snowball.

"The situation I'm in right now, I can't bring all the games together, you know what I mean?" Jeter said. "You just try to take it one game at a time. I felt good when we were at home. [Friday] wasn't so good.

"I've played this game long enough. There's times when you don't feel good at the plate, but you still find ways to get hits. I haven't been doing that."

Girardi has resisted any outside cries to drop Jeter in the lineup during the skid, pointing out that there were similar suggestions when Mark Teixeira slumped in April and June -- Teixeira rebounded and is now the only Major Leaguer with 100 RBIs and 100 runs scored.

Jeter may not have enough time to completely salvage a down season after he enjoyed a renaissance 2009 campaign, but Girardi said that he has faith in Jeter's ability to deal with the situation and keep working toward more promising results.

"He's very professional about what he does, and I think Derek is very good about turning the page from day to day," Girardi said. "He doesn't let one at-bat affect him to the next. He's went through a tough streak here and there's human emotions that are involved. You have to deal with them and I think he's doing a great job."

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