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Yankees give slumping SS Derek Jeter a rare day off

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter was out of the starting lineup against the Rangers on Saturday night, a decision manager Joe Girardi said was more because of a long game the previous night than the captain's prolonged slump.

"My confidence in Derek hasn't wavered," Girardi said.

Jeter went 1 for 7 in a 6-5 loss to Texas in 13 innings on Friday night, a game that took 5 hours, 12 minutes.

Jeter is 2 for 18 and 7 for 61. Since Aug. 13, the 11-time All-Star has gone 16 for 102 (.157), dropping his average from .282 to .260.

"I don't think there's any question that he's struggling," Girardi said. "You always have that decision: Does he need a day off to get back on track? Or does he need to keep playing to get back on track? You never know the answer. But today's day off is more that we played (so long) last night. ...

"It hasn't been too often in his career that he's been (slumping like this), so you're not really sure exactly how he's going to handle it. But he's very professional about what he does. Derek is very good about turning the page from day to day. He doesn't let one at-bat affect the next at-bat. He's going through a tough streak, and there's human emotions involved. He's doing a great job."

Jeter is hitting 57 points below his major league career average and his worst by far for a full season.

"I sure wouldn't bet against him, that he can finish strong and be the Derek Jeter we know he can be," Girardi said. "He's going through a funk. It's not abnormal for a hitter to go through a funk. (Mark Teixeira) went through one in April and in June, and people were wondering about him, about moving him out of the third spot. But we had faith in Tex. I think sometimes when people get older, people are more apt to question whether he's in a slump because he's older, or just in a slump. I think he's just going through a slump and he'll get out of it."

Jeter hasn't started six games this season. He's been at shortstop for 131 games, with five more at designated hitter.

Girardi dismissed age being a factor. Jeter is 36 and in his 16th big league season.

"Now if he were 38, 39, you might start thinking about it," Girardi said. "We believe Derek is going to hit and he's going to get hot."