Wood's 95-mph fastball came up and in toward Rodriguez's head, but the slugger's hand absorbed the blow as he leaned away from the plate. Even then, he said afterward that the ball did not catch him flush on the hand. After he lay on the ground for close to a minute, Rodriguez got up and trotted to first, where he was replaced by pinch-runner Juan Miranda.
Both Rodriguez and manager Joe Girardi stated that the third baseman was fine after the game and could resume his chase for 600 home runs on Monday night in Cleveland.
"I have pretty much full strength, so I should be OK," Rodriguez said. "It's very easy to break a bone or chip a bone. I'm just glad it's OK."
Rodriguez gave Girardi a firm squeeze on the back to show his manager that he still had that strength, and Girardi said he pinch-ran for him more because of the score than because of the injury.
"I had said if he got on, I was running for him anyway," Girardi said.
The Royals have pitched Rodriguez up and in all series, but the Yankees didn't believe there was any intent on the part of Wood. The reliever had walked two in the inning -- one intentionally -- and had a meeting on the mound with Kansas City pitching coach Bob McClure just prior to Rodriguez's at-bat.
"None at all," Rodriguez said. "Zero percent."
"The ball just got away," said Wood. "It could have happened to anybody. It just happened to him at that spot. The ball has been up a little bit."
The hit by pitch prevented Rodriguez from hitting home run No. 600 before the Yankees embark on a seven-game road trip to Cleveland and Tampa Bay this week.
Rodriguez admitted he went into that last, bases-loaded at-bat looking to reward the fans who stuck around through a 2-hour 32-minute rain delay in hopes of seeing history. He took a mighty cut at Wood's 1-1 fastball on the inside.
"I was trying to imitate Reggie Jackson, down on one knee," Rodriguez said. "These fans waited for three hours. ... I'm just disappointed we couldn't share the moment together."
Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.