Derek Jeter became the 10th player in history to single three times in an All-Star Game on Tuesday. (Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
HOUSTON -- Derek Jeter is already synonymous with success in the postseason, as his 123 playoff hits are the most in baseball history.
After a 3-for-3 performance in Tuesday's 75th All-Star Game at Minute Maid Park, Jeter can now add another record to his resume, as the clutch shortstop boasts the highest batting average in All-Star history of any player with at least 10 at-bats in the Midsummer Classic. Jeter is now 7-for-10 (.700) in six contests, bettering Richie Ashburn's old mark of .600 (6-for-10).
"I didn't know that until someone pointed it out to me after the game," Jeter said. "I have no idea how it happened. I just swing."
"It's pretty amazing," said manager Joe Torre. "Then you consider how many hits he has in postseason, that's pretty good."
Jeter singled in each of his three at-bats, helping the American League to a 9-4 win over the National League.
His first at-bat came against a familiar face, as he singled against Roger Clemens, setting up Alfonso Soriano's three-run home run. The AL hit Clemens for six runs in the first, blowing the game open in front of Clemens' home crowd.
Derek Jeter / SS
Weight: 195 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R
"Any time you're facing a guy like Rocket, you don't anticipate scoring that many runs," Jeter said. "It was probably tough for him to pitch, because I'm sure there were a lot of emotions. He's had an outstanding first half, the fans recognized that and gave him a nice ovation. He deserved it."
"He was swinging hard," said Torre. "He wanted to hit a home run off Roger. There's pride involved. He stands tall."
Jeter wasn't the only Yankee to do some damage against the NL's pitching staff, as Jason Giambi and Alex Rodriguez each collected a hit. A-Rod's fourth-inning triple plated the AL's seventh run, as he drilled a line drive against Chicago's Carlos Zambrano.
"It was a good at-bat," Rodriguez said. "Zambrano is tough, he throws 97-98, but he left one out over the plate and I hit it pretty well."
Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui also got into the game, as each player went 0-for-1.
But Jeter was the star of the night for the Yankees, becoming the 10th player in All-Star Game history to single three times in a game. His second hit came in the third against Arizona's Randy Johnson, while his third came in the fifth, an infield hit against Florida's Carl Pavano.
"I found some holes and beat another one out," Jeter said. "That's how it goes sometimes. You enjoy playing in these games, but it's not fun facing guys like Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson."
"He finds a way to get hits," Rodriguez said. "Balls he hits just find holes, and he always takes a good at-bat. To have three hits today, that was awesome."
Jeter, who started the season in a terrible slump, has been on fire over the past six weeks, raising his average from .189 to .277.
"He's pretty steady, pretty special," said Yankees hitting coach Don Mattingly, who took part in his first All-Star Game as a coach. "I've been watching it ever since he got off to his rough start. He's been hitting everybody."
As the second half is set to begin, Jeter and his teammates are focused on one thing: getting back to the World Series. If they do, they'll start the Fall Classic in the Bronx, as the AL earned home-field advantage with Tuesday's win.
"It was a big win," Rodriguez said. "It's going to be a big win for someone in the American League, so hopefully it's us."
"We'll worry about that when the time comes," Jeter said. "Our job now is to get to there."
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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