Derek Jeter hits first homers of season

5/9/2011 - MLB Derek Jeter New York Yankees + more

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Derek Jeter hit his first two home runs of the year, snapping a 259 at-bat homer run drought in Sunday's game between the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers.

Jeter's home runs, both solo shots, were two of the five home runs the Yankees hit in a 12-5 win. The big hit was Francisco Cervelli's grand slam in the eighth, which took a tight 6-4 contest and turned it into a blowout.

"Everybody needs a day like this," said Jeter. "I felt good in Detroit. I was hitting the ball the other way, hitting the ball where it's been pitched, I've been having some good at-bats, and it carried over to here. Sometimes it's not as easy as we make it look."

Jeter's first home run, a line drive into the right-field stands off starter Dave Bush in the fifth inning, was his first homer since last Aug. 24. His second, a line shot off Arthur Rhodes, sailed over the center-field fence, more than 400 feet from home plate, to give him his first multihomer game since last June 12. It gave the Yankees a 5-4 lead, and was followed two pitches later by a Curtis Granderson home run that extended the lead to 6-4.

The two home runs gave Jeter four hits in his first four at-bats -- he singled to center leading off the game and singled to right, driving in a run, in the third -- and he finished 4-for-6, his average up to .276, its highest point of the season.

"Derek's not the only guy in my lineup struggling," manager Joe Girardi said before the game. "When you look up and down our lineup and our averages, he's one of the higher ones. And he's the hot button every day."

Jeter finished the day with the third-highest average in the Yankee batting order, behind only Robinson Cano (.290) and Granderson (.283), who leads the AL in home runs with 11.

Wallace Matthews covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com.