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Cautious Yanks give A-Rod half-day off

Cautious Yanks give A-Rod half-day off

NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez was held out of the starting lineup in the Yankees' 6-2 loss to Orioles on Tuesday after playing back-to-back games upon coming off the disabled list, but the star third baseman made an appearance as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the seventh inning. With runners on the corners and the Yankees trailing by four runs, A-Rod hit a sharp fielder's-choice liner.

Rodriguez missed 14 games with a strained left calf before being activated on Sunday, and he said that he'd lobbied to be permitted to get into a third straight contest.

"I wish I could [start]," Rodriguez said on Tuesday. "I pleaded my case long and hard last night, again this morning, again this afternoon. I went 0-for-3."

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Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that because Rodriguez did not have a Minor League rehabilitation assignment, offering the third baseman some rest so quickly was important.

"If he had only taken five or six days off, he would have been in there today," Girardi said. "Having three weeks off and then playing two days without doing a rehab [stint], I just felt like the one thing I don't want is him to be a little fatigued at this point in time and injure something."

Rodriguez is 3-for-7 with a home run and three RBIs in two games -- both Yankees losses -- since coming off the disabled list.

"Joe's being cautious, being smart -- much smarter than I am," Rodriguez said. "I'd play 20 days in a row and be reckless, if it were up to me."

Girardi said that Rodriguez's health does not appear to be an issue at this time, although he has not yet completely tested his left calf on the basepaths because there has not been an opportunity to do so, such as on a ball hit into the gap.

"To me, he's doing fine," Girardi said. "I don't see him favoring anything. We haven't seen him have to go 100 percent. I don't anticipate that would be a problem. My guess is if Alex had to go 100 percent, he could go."

Girardi said that he feels the need to ease Rodriguez back in, although those limitations should come off by the time the Yankees finish playing the Rangers and Rays next week.

"The good thing is, after this stretch, we've got six [games] in a row and then we've got a day off [on Sept. 16]. Will I play him six days? I don't know. We'll have to wait and see how hot it is in Texas and how we're doing."

Rodriguez said he doesn't believe a few extra days off will affect his swing.

"I hope not," Rodriguez said. "I felt pretty darn good coming away from the K.C. series and felt strong about moving forward, and then I got injured. I feel the same way now."

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