- Associated Press - Friday, July 8, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - Derek Jeter will now take aim at 3,000 hits from the second spot in the New York Yankees‘ lineup.

Jeter has been moved down from the leadoff slot for Friday night’s game at Yankee Stadium against Tampa Bay. He goes into the game with 2,998 career hits, and is trying to become the first Yankees player to reach the milestone.

Jeter is in a 4-for-18 rut since coming off the disabled list last week because of a strained calf. All of those at-bats came with him at the top of the batting order. Brett Gardner was set to hit leadoff against the Rays.

Rookie Jeremy Hellickson was ready to pitch for the Rays. Maybe this is an omen: Hellickson’s pet dog is named Jeter. Hellickson grew up rooting for Jeter, and named his Yorkie after the Yankees star.

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