It's not a guaranteed win-generator, but A-Rod is happy to do what he can to help.
"This team has picked me up so many times over the last three years, it feels good to contribute and pick them up again," Rodriguez said. "I'm sure they'll pick me up in the future again.
"What you're doing is fun, but you really have to make sure you have the team concept tied into it, and get some wins. I am very proud of the way our team is battling through at-bats. ... Things will turn around for us."
Much of the difficulty has spawned from the starters' lack of presence in games. The Yankees' rotation has gone deeper than six innings just four times in 19 chances this season, placing undue pressure on the bullpen to perform night after night.
New York may see a bit of a reprieve when Andy Pettitte takes the mound at home against the Blue Jays in the series opener. The southpaw is responsible for two of the four six-plus-inning starts the Yankees have laid claim to this year, and he is expected to do the same in his fifth start, on Wednesday.
Pettitte limited the archrival Red Sox to just two runs in 6 1/3 innings in his last start, the third start from which he exited with a lead. Still, the left-hander has just one win under his belt, a six-inning shutout at Minnesota on April 10.
Pettitte is 15-7 in 29 career games (28 starts) against the Jays, and has worked to a 4.30 ERA.
Toronto will counter with A.J. Burnett, a right-hander who's struggled with his control lately, walking five in his most recent outing. Burnett's situation with the Jays is similar, as the team leans on him to go deep into his outings in order to give the bullpen a rest. He's responded fairly well through his four starts, except for a two-inning outing against Detroit to open the season.
Burnett is 2-2 with a 4.81 ERA in four lifetime starts against New York.
The Yankees are 228-182 all-time against Toronto. The teams have not yet met this season.
NYY: LHP Andy Pettitte (1-0, 1.78 ERA)
TOR: RHP A.J. Burnett (1-1, 5.57 ERA)
Burnett is holding opponents to a .235 batting average.
Pettitte has a 3.44 career ERA at home, compared with 4.15 on the road.
Player to watch
Rodriguez is 3-for-8 in his career against Burnett, with a double, two home runs and six RBIs.
On the Internet
Official game notes
WCBS-AM 880 AM, WZAA-FM 92.3 FM (Espan˜ol)
Thursday: Yankees (Phil Hughes, Major League debut) vs. Blue Jays (Josh Towers, 1-2, 3.44), 7:05 p.m. ET
Friday: Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka, 2-2, 4.00), at Yankees (Jeff Karstens, 0-1, 14.54), 7:05 p.m. ET
Saturday: Red Sox (Tim Wakefield, 2-2, 2.08), at Yankees (Kei Igawa, 1-1, 7.84), 3:55 p.m. ET