Yankees win on walk-off single by Alfonso Soriano

Alfonso Soriano hits a two-run home run in Alfonso Soriano hits a two-run home run in the third inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. (July 28, 2013) Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

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Alfonso Soriano had struggled in his return to the Yankees -- until Sunday.

He hit a game-winning walk-off single as the Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 6-5, to avoid the sweep in Derek Jeter's return.

The captain also came through for the Yankees, hitting a home run on the first pitch he saw.

Jeter, who was activated before the game from the disabled list, homered to right-centerfield off Tampa Bay Rays lefthander Matt Moore. It was the Yankees’ first home run in 10 games.

Jeter received a standing ovation at Yankee Stadium before his first at-bat in just his second game of the season. He received another one and a curtain call after homering.

Jeter, 39, had been sidelined since July 11, when he strained his quadriceps muscle running in his first game since October surgery to repair a broken ankle.

Before Sunday’s game, Jeter said: “We need contributions from a lot of people. It’s not like I’m some savior.”

The Yankees have been struggling to score runs. They were beaten 1-0 by the Rays on Saturday and managed just two hits.

“It changes our lineup,” manager Joe Girardi said. “There’s no doubt about that. And just his presence is important to this club. It’s been important for such a long time. My hope is that I get to do it today and I get to do it again on Tuesday, because we weren’t so lucky the last time.”

Jeter, who was the designated hitter in his first game, played shortstop on Sunday.

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