Rodriguez said right-hander Cody Scarpetta's curveball actually hit him in the IT band, which stretches from the hip to the knee. He winced and grabbed his hip right after he was struck, saying the pitch "hit one of those funny bones," but jogged to first and said afterward he felt fine.
The rehabbing Yankee, playing in his first games since October, finished 1-for-2 with a run scored and made a few routine plays at third base during his five innings of work.
"It means nothing," he said. "I was happy that I did get some work at third base, and I was happy to score ... from first. Then tomorrow's another test. That's all it is."
If that's the case, Saturday was at least an eventful first half of the test. After grounding out in the first inning, Rodriguez reached up to snare a sharply hit line drive in the second inning. He came to the plate in the third inning and knocked a 1-0 pitch into center field, loading the bases.
That single snapped an 0-for-5 start to his rehab assignment, but Rodriguez was hardly excited about the small milestone.
"It felt amazing, man. It was rockin'. It was incredible. It was magical," he said jokingly. "Who cares? Really."
The hit itself may not have meant much to him, but he was at least pleased with the way he tracked the ball on the eight pitches thrown his way.
"I did see the ball better. Those are the things I do want to focus on, in all seriousness," Rodriguez said. "I felt that, when I did take the offspeed pitch, I took it with better balance. And seeing the ball better was a good sign."
Rodriguez was hit by a 1-1 pitch in the fifth inning, once again loading the bases. When Peter O'Brien's single to left was badly misplayed and rolled to the wall, A-Rod scored from first, "probably [running] 75 percent." He admitted he was being cautious on the basepaths but said he still felt good.
Rodriguez, who received a round of boos amid some cheers before each at-bat, took the field to finish out the fifth inning, recording two quick assists on routine grounders to third base.
"I'm sure my defense is going to be several weeks behind my offense," he said. "I'm pretty confident that, with some at-bats, I'll be able to feel pretty good and be pretty productive. I think with any type of hip surgery or anything like that, lateral movement's always going to be a challenge. Defense, there's a lot more you have to do.
"Everything's going to take time. Anything I tell you guys at this point, there's really not much there. You've got to wait probably 10 games, and then I'll be able to get into the flow of things. I'm literally just trying to step back into this thing and be smart about it."
Rodriguez will remain with the Tampa Yankees here for a 5:05 p.m. ET game on Sunday. Assuming the weather allows him to play as scheduled, Rodriguez likely will take Monday off and play for Tampa at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Tuesday night.