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Jeter on verge of milestone

Jeter on verge of milestone

TORONTO -- When Derek Jeter takes the field on Friday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, he will be in search of yet another milestone to add to his already lofty collection.

Jeter remains just one hit shy of reaching 2,500 for his career, a plateau that has only been reached by 87 players in Major League Baseball history.

Reaching the mark certainly indicates Jeter's spot among the game's greatest players. This is especially true when considering that only Babe Ruth (2,518) and Lou Gehrig (2,721) -- both Hall of Fame legends -- have collected more hits in a Yankees uniform.

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Aside from the record chasing, Jeter has also been on an offensive tear of late. The shortstop has hit .531 (17-for-32) over his past seven games, watching his season batting average climb from .284 to .297 -- the highest it's been since May 22.

When asked if Jeter was doing anything different at the plate, Yankees manager Joe Girardi provided a simple answer.

"It's just a streak, it's clicking," Girardi said. "That's the interesting thing about this game. A lot of times, you can look at [video] and you look exactly the same. One time you're 16-for-25, then the other time you're 0-for-20, and you're like, 'What's the difference?'

"[Jeter] just looks real consistent in his approach."

Whatever Jeter's approach has been, it has certainly worked. Prior to his three-hit game on Aug. 12 against the Twins, Jeter had been engulfed in a mini-slump, batting just .240 (12-for-50) over his previous 13 games, dating back to the end of July.

Swinging a hot bat, Jeter will look to add to his career totals when the Yankees take on the Orioles on Friday in the first game of a weekend series.

As recent as Wednesday, Jeter continued his assault on the record books when he hit his 203rd career home run to move past Hall of Famer Bill Dickey and into a tie with Roger Maris for 11th place on the Yankees' all-time home run list.

Jeter is also nearing the record for the most hits in historic Yankee Stadium. The shortstop has collected 1,252 hits in the Bronx, and is just 17 away from Gehrig's mark.

Pitching matchup
NYY: RHP Mike Mussina (16-7, 3.35 ERA)
In 25 career starts against Baltimore, former Oriole Mussina is 10-8 with a 4.78 ERA.

BAL: RHP Radhames Liz (4-3, 7.47 ERA)
Liz will be making his first career start against the Yankees.

Tidbits
Entering Thursday, the Yankees led the American League and ranked second in the Majors this season with a .273 batting average with two outs. Only St. Louis (.279) had a higher average in the Majors. ... Following his three RBIs in Thursday's game, Hideki Matsui is now one shy of 500 in his Major League career. ... Thursday's outing for Sidney Ponson lasted just two-plus innings. It was his shortest start since July 3, 2005, when he was a member of the Orioles.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• MY9

On radio
• WCBS 880, WNSW 1430 (Español)

Up next
• Saturday: Yankees (Carl Pavano, 0-0, 0.00) at Orioles (Jeremy Guthrie, 10-9, 3.15), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Yankees (Darrell Rasner, 5-9, 4.93) at Orioles (Daniel Cabrera, 8-8, 4.98), 1:35 p.m. ET
• Monday: Off-day

David Singh is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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