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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

NEW YORK (AFP) – New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter smacked a home run on the first pitch he saw Sunday and made his second injury comeback of the Major League Baseball season a triumphant one.

The 39-year-old shortstop, who had missed all but one game this season after battling back from a fractured ankle and then an injury to his quadriceps in his first comeback bid, went 2-for-4 and scored twice in a 6-5 victory over Tampa Bay.

The Yankees, struggling with injuries all season, had lost eight of their prior 11 games.

Jeter, hitting second in the Yankees’ lineup, blasted a pitch from Tampa Bay’s Matt Moore into the right-field grandstands in the first inning to give New York a 1-0 lead over the American League East division leaders.

Jeter’s blast snapped an eight-game homer-less streak for the Yankees, the longest such drought for the storied club since 1984, and delighted the crowd at Yankee Stadium.

After Jeter sparked a three-run first inning for New York, Tampa Bay seized a 4-3 lead before the Yankees added two runs in the third only to have the Rays equalize at 5-5 with a lone run in the fifth inning.

Panamanian ace relief pitcher Mariano Rivera blanked the Rays in the top of the ninth inning and Alfonso Soriano smacked a single with one out in the bottom of the ninth to score Brett Gardner with the winning run.

Soriano, obtained two days earlier in a trade with the Chicago Cubs, went 4-for-5 at the plate with a two-run home and drove in three runs.

Japanese star Ichiro Suzuki went 4-for-4 for the Yankees also knocked in a run.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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