A-Rod drives in first run in sixth rehab game
Yanks third baseman 2-for-15 since beginning play July 2
TAMPA, Fla. -- Alex Rodriguez went 1-for-3 and collected his first RBI since October at designated hitter for Class A Advanced Tampa on Wednesday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Rodriguez lined a single to left field on a 2-2 pitch, allowing Tampa's Ben Gamel to score the go-ahead run from second in the bottom of the sixth inning of a 5-2 loss. Rodriguez was forced out at second on a fielder's choice to end the inning.
"I was happy with all three at-bats," Rodriguez said after the game. "I thought my work before and after the game was good. In this process, there are going to be some good days and bad days. Today was a good day."
The 14-time All-Star continued the trend of alternating games between designated hitter and third base, batting second in his sixth rehab game after playing 5 2/3 innings at third on Tuesday.
According to A-Rod, the RBI "doesn't mean anything." As has been the case since he began playing again, he was more excited with the work he received before and after the game. After Wednesday's game, he focused on fielding with director of player development Pat Roessler.
"I try to pick a fundamental after every game," Rodriguez said. "I'm trying to replicate my Spring Training routine as much as possible."
A-Rod is now 2-for-15 since beginning his rehab assignment on July 2.
Rodriguez will return to third base on Thursday. He said he would not be surprised to remain in the game through the seventh inning, which would be the deepest he's played in a game since beginning the rehab process.
He also said the program will soon begin to call for multiple games at third base followed by a DH day, rather than alternating.
Rodriguez will take Friday off, which coincides with a reported interview with Major League Baseball regarding his involvement with the former head of Biogenesis, Tony Bosch.
Rodriguez was unable to convert his first RBI opportunity in the first inning, facing Blue Jays pitcher and fellow rehabber Sergio Santos. After Gamel reached with a double, Rodriguez worked a full count before grounding out to shortstop.
Santos made five relief appearances for Toronto in April before undergoing right elbow surgery in May to remove bone spurs. Santos was removed from the game after the first inning.
Rodriguez spoke Tuesday about trying to see as many pitches as he could. He stayed true to his word Wednesday, viewing nearly as many pitches from Santos in his first at-bat as he did in all three plate appearances Tuesday. He saw 12 total pitches Wednesday compared to seven on Tuesday, both in three at-bats.
"The biggest difference between yesterday and today was pitch selection," Rodriguez said. "My swing was good yesterday, but my pitch selection was poor, and today I swung at three strikes and made good contact three times."
Sam Strong is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.