Derek Jeter homers! Twice! Also, Ron Washington is not a genius

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4:30 p.m. EDT – From 257 at-bats between homers to… ummm… zero at-bats between homers.  Jeter went deep again, this time against Arthur Rhodes, in the seventh inning.

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Derek Jeter hit his first homer in 63 games dating back to last August when he took Dave Bush deep in the fifth inning of Sunday’s game against the Rangers.

Of course, it came against a pitcher he never should have been facing for a third time on the day.

Bush, who had pitched just four times in the Rangers’ first 34 games, was called on today to make a spot start because of Alexi Ogando’s blister.  He did his job, limiting the Yankees to two runs over the first four innings, but he allowed Jeter to go 2-for-2 in the process.

With those two hits, Jeter improved to 6-for-12 lifetime against Bush, begging the question of what Bush was still doing out there when Jeter came up to lead off the fifth. 

Bush was pulled immediately after the homer, so it’s not like Ron Washington was caught unaware.  He knew there was a good chance he’d be turning to the bullpen in the fifth inning; he just blew it by not starting the inning with a reliever.

The blast ended the longest homerless drought of Jeter’s career (257 at-bats).  One of his previous hits also drove in a run, making this his first multi-RBI game of the year.  It’s the second time he’s had at least three hits.

Dodgers activate Adrian Gonzalez

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The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.

Rays activate Kevin Kiermaier

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The Tampa Bay Rays have activated outfielder Kevin Kiermaier from the 60-day disabled list.

Kiermaier, who fractured his hip in early June, is batting leadoff and playing center field in tonight’s game against the Mariners. He was just 3-for-24 on his rehab assignment, but those aren’t usually predictive of anything. He was hitting .258/.329/.408 when he went down. Getting his bat — and, more importantly, his glove — back in the lineup will boost the struggling Rays in their quest for a playoff spot.