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Alfonso Soriano batting cleanup for Yankees on Friday

Big League Stew

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Take off that Cubs cap, Fonzie. With the Alfonso Soriano trade finally made official by Major League Baseball, the New York Yankees put him to work immediately in the cleanup spot. Soriano batted fourth and played left field Friday night against the Tampa Bay Rays in a 10-6 loss at Yankee Stadium.

Soriano went 0-for-5 but scored in the eighth inning and drove in a run with a fielder's choice in the ninth.

One person who's happy to see an old teammate: Derek Jeter:

Be careful, Sori. You'll break Jeter!

It's a small sample size and an arbitrary endpoint, but Soriano slugged .688 the past four weeks entering Friday. That means hope for a team that hasn't hit a home run in eight days, and not in 27 games by a right-handed batter. No need to wait for Alex Rodriguez to come back when Alfonso Soriano is gassed up and ready to go. The only issue: The Yankees might have waited too long. They're seven games out of first place in the AL East. Not insurmountable, but Soriano could have been helping them already. He's hitting fourth, so it's not like they've had better options lately.

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