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Tex hits high in homers with low average

He did it again. Mark Teixeira homered in his third straight game Tuesday night, this time it was a two-run home run in the sixth inning of the Yankees' 12-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Let's say right off that it's difficult to say anything negative about a player who shares the major-league lead in home runs with 24. Yet, it is kind of weird that Teixeira can be tied with Toronto's Jose Bautista for the home run lead, while hitting just .246.

Bautista, by contrast, is hitting .328. The Dodgers' Matt Kemp, who has 22 home runs, is hitting .333. And Prince Fielder -- whose Milwaukee team was defeated by the Yankees, 12-2, Tuesday night -- is hitting .306 with 21 home runs.

In fact, of the top 10 home run hitters in baseball, Teixeira has the second-lowest average, barely better than Nelson Cruz, who is hitting .242 with his 18 home runs.

So what gives? Is Teixeira just thinking home run every time he steps to the plate? After all, Teixeira is a career .283 hitter. Is this some kind of temporary strange statistical aberration?

"I hope so," he said. "It's just not getting cheap hits to fall. Sometimes your average depends on getting one hit a week just kind of falling in, a broken-bat hit, a little infield hit. I'm not fast, so I'm not going to get many infield hits.

"I can't really worry about hitting singles. I'm here to drive in runs. As long as I'm helping the team, my average doesn't really matter to me."

Teixeira was 1-for-5 Tuesday night, but had four RBIs. In addition to the two runs from his homer, he grounded out to drive in Curtis Granderson in the first inning and grounded out to score Eduardo Nuñez in the second inning.

Granderson, who has 21 home runs and is hitting .277, said it's hard to be a good hitter and hit home runs.

"If you can do both like a guy like Bautista, it's a great thing to do," he said. "But the whole point is to do anything you can to help the team. Singles, doubles, triples, walks, anything you can do to help the team is what matters and that's what Mark is doing."

New York Sports