NEW YORK (AP) _ Alex Rodriguez was out of the New York Yankees’
lineup against Texas on Sunday night because of stiffness in his
lower back and on his side.

Rodriguez had trouble getting loose Saturday in the cold weather
and left a 5-2 victory over the Rangers in the seventh inning. New
York manager Joe Girardi said the slugger told him Sunday he was
still sore.

“I just didn’t think it made any sense to push it,” Girardi
said. “We’re going to give him the day off.”

Rodriguez had a precautionary MRI that “came back clean,”
Girardi said. The three-time MVP is day to day and the team will
see if he can play Tuesday night in Toronto. The Yankees are off

“We’ll shoot for Tuesday and if he can’t go Tuesday, we’ll
shoot for Wednesday,” Girardi said.

Rodriguez said he felt his back stiffen most on a dive he made
at third base Saturday. He received treatment Sunday and said he
hopes he avoided a trip to the disabled list by coming out of the
game early.

“I’d like to think I pulled myself with perfect timing,” he

Eric Chavez replaced A-Rod at third base and batted sixth in the
rubber game of a three-game series. Chavez came through with a
tiebreaking single in the eighth inning of a 6-5 victory.

“When I made the decision to come here, I knew what it was
going to be. Obviously, Alex is going to play a ton of games and
when I get in there I’ve just got to be ready to play,” said
Chavez, in his initial season with the Yankees after spending his
first 13 in Oakland. “I’m going to keep the same approach the
whole year.”

Robinson Cano was moved up to Rodriguez’s cleanup spot in the
lineup and homered in the second inning.

Rodriguez is off to an outstanding start this season. He began
the day leading the league in batting average (.385), slugging
percentage (.821) and on-base percentage (.500). He also ranked
among the leaders with four homers and 12 runs scored.

     (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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