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Jeter doesn't blame skid on hit by pitch

Jeter doesn't blame skid on hit by pitch

MINNEAPOLIS -- Derek Jeter was sticking to his usual side of the story, saying that he felt "fine," but his numbers have been anything but OK since he was hit on the left hand by a 93-mph fastball last week.

The timing of Jeter's recent skid seemed to coincide with an errant pitch from the Orioles' Daniel Cabrera at Yankee Stadium on May 20, when the shortstop writhed in pain behind the plate for a few moments before leaving the game.

Though the X-rays came back negative and Jeter has not missed any games, he has just three hits in 29 at-bats (.103) since being hit by Cabrera. The skid has dropped his season average 32 points to .280.

"I haven't been getting very many hits, but then, if I get a few [Friday], you guys can say I'm hot," Jeter said. "Really, it happens every year. There's ups and downs. When things aren't going good, you try to contribute in any way you can. When things are going good, you try to ride the wave as long as you can. It's nothing that I'm concerned about."

Jeter was set to bat first for New York on Friday, as the Yankees rested regular leadoff batter Johnny Damon on the Metrodome's artificial turf. Jeter said the biggest thing right now is that he has not felt comfortable at the plate, but he hoped the Yankees' off-day on Thursday will help.

When the Yankees took their customary early batting practice on the first game of a series in a new city on Friday, Jeter was the first to step in, spraying plenty of offerings from batting-practice pitcher Roman Rodriguez around the outfield.

"He's just not getting his hits," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Everybody goes through it. It's really hard at this level to get two hits every day and always to be hot. You're going to go through times when you're not swinging quite as well. Maybe from a standpoint you don't match up as well against a guy or you're a little bit off. That just happens."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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