Sunday, July 08, 2007

A-Rod In Lineup; Jeter Thrives At No. 3

A-Rod In Lineup; Jeter Thrives At No. 3
July 4, 2007

NEW YORK - By the time he reported to Yankee Stadium Tuesday, A-Rod was A-OK.

And he wasted no time proving it. Alex Rodriguez, who left Monday's game with a strained left hamstring, went through his usual preparation, then informed Yankees manager Joe Torre he was ready to play the Twins.

Not only was Rodriguez fit to hit, but he was back at third base. "He had the option of [being the designated hitter]," Torre said. "He wanted to play [in the field]."

Rodriguez went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in the Yankees' 8-0 win. But he looked comfortable in the field, starting a double play with a pickup on the backhand side before leaving in the sixth.

Rodriguez was removed in the sixth Monday after colliding with Minnesota first baseman Justin Morneau while stretching to beat a double-play relay.

Rodriguez was replaced by pinch runner Miguel Cairo with Hideki Matsui up after advacing to second on a walk.

"Alex said he wasn't going to try to score on a base hit," Torre recalled. "That's why I took him out then. It was a strategic substitution. I thought he might miss a day or so. Certainly, we wouldn't be taking any risk."

Torre had the same order as Monday, leaving Derek Jeter to bat third in front of Rodriguez and Jorge Posada.

Once again, the move worked as Jeter had three hits and two RBI. Monday, Jeter's two hits and two RBI were the first by a Yankee third-place hitter on the homestand.

"I hope [Jeter] has fun with it," Torre said. "I think he's pretty oblivious to where he hits. He's just himself."

Hughes' Rehab On Track

Two months after he made an overnight trip from emerging star to the disabled list, Phil Hughes appears to be on the road to recovery. The rookie righthander threw 30 pitches in live batting practice at the Tampa facility yesterday and may make his first rehab start early next week.

Hughes, the pride of the organization's minor league system, dazzled in his second start for the Yankees at Texas on May 1. But he sustained a hamstring injury in a one-hit performance and was knocked out of the rotation. After spraining an ankle in Florida, he was bumped from the 15-day to the 60-day DL.

Wire reports included

Newsday staff writer Ken Davidoff contributed to this story.

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Copyright © 2007, Newsday, Inc.


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