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Third base the charm?

Cincinnati Reds' Yonder Alonso may have finally found his calling at third base. (Associated Press)
Cincinnati Reds' Yonder Alonso may have finally found his calling at third base. (Associated Press)

Yonder Alonso made his first professional start at third base on Monday night, the Cincinnati Reds’ latest attempt to find a position for the former first-round draft pick.

Alonso has been the Reds’ biggest conundrum since they called him up from the minors last month. He’s been primarily a first baseman since they made him the seventh overall pick in the June 2008 draft. Reigning N.L. MVP Joey Votto is their first baseman, so he can’t play there.

They worked Alonso out in left field with Triple-A Louisville before calling him up. He got to start four games in the majors and struggled to keep up in the outfield, prompting Baker to use him in a limited role. Baker decided to let him start taking ground balls at third base before games, reprising a position he played as a youth.

Through Monday’s game, Alonso was batting .412 with three doubles, three homers and nine RBIs in 34 at-bats.

A-Rod, Jeter hurting

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez returned to New York to have an MRI on his left thumb, and the result “came out good,” according to manager Joe Girardi.

Rodriguez sat out Sunday night’s game against the Baltimore Orioles after playing in the first half of the split doubleheader. He was poised to meet the Yankees in Boston on Tuesday for the start of a three-game series.

Shortstop Derek Jeter was out of the starting lineup Monday against the Orioles for a second straight game. He fouled a ball off his right knee in the third inning of the opener Sunday and sustained a bruised kneecap.

Reyes comes off DL

Jose Reyes has been activated from the disabled list by the New York Mets and he started at shortstop in the second game of a doubleheader against Florida.

The Mets activated Reyes after a 2-1 victory in the opener Monday as they returned to the field following a two-day break because of Hurricane Irene. Reyes went 1 for 4 and scored a run in a 5-1 Mets victory.

Clearing the bases

Texas slugger Nelson Cruz is expected to miss about three weeks with another hamstring injury. … Blue Jays manager John Farrell continues to be weakened by pneumonia and will not accompany his team today for a three- game series in Baltimore.

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