A-Rod goes 0-for-2 again in second rehab game
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Game two in a 20-day rehab for Alex Rodriguez went much like the first.
A-Rod again started at third base, batted second and played three innings for the Class-A Charleston RiverDogs Wednesday night against the Rome (Ga.) Braves at Riley Park. Just like Tuesday, he was 0-for-2 as he continues his comeback from offseason hip surgery that sidelined him for more than eight months.
"It's probably going to take me half a dozen games at least to start thinking about any kind of results,'' said Rodriguez, who grounded to first in the first inning and grounded to second in the third. "I'm more interested to see how my body reacts after back-to-back games.''
In his first at-bat, he hit the first pitch from Mauricio Cabrera, which was clocked at 101 mph.
"The good news for me, I didn't hit 101 before hip surgery,'' he said. "It's not very often you see 101, not even on our level. That's unbelievable. That's gas.''
In his only fielding chance, Rodriguez cleanly fielded a grounder right at him and started a 5-4-3 double play.
"I am glad that I got tested yesterday on a bunt play and today on a first-hopper for a double play,'' he said. "It was kind of a tricky play and I had to wait on the second baseman to get there.''
On Tuesday, Rodriguez was victimized by Rome leadoff hitter Kyle Wren, who bunted at A-Rod and beat it out. Wednesday night, he took no chances against leadoff hitter Eric Garcia. Rodriguez played in on the grass until the count reached 1-and-2 on Garcia.
"That threw me off,'' Rodriguez said. "I thought it was the same guy. I was ready.''
Rodriguez will work out Thursday before joining the Tampa Yankees for a game at Lakeland, Fla., Friday.
His brief stay in Charleston sparked sellout crowds for the RiverDogs, with two-day attendance of 15,922. He signed autographs for approximately 30 minutes after Wednesday night's game.
His generosity extended to his two-day teammates. Rodriguez bought the RiverDogs steak dinners and spoke with them at a Q&A session Wednesday, along with Yankees teammate Eduardo Nuñez, who is also rehabbing here.
"That was a productive part of my trip, sharing some time with those kids,'' Rodriguez said.
Wednesday's Charleston Post and Courier printed a full page with a color picture of Rodriguez in a RiverDogs uniform underneath the banner headline "Welcome to Charleston, A-Rod''. Copies of the broadsheet, which featured an American flag logo on the back, were handed out to fans at the game.
A-Rod's rehab tour is sparking publicity even in places where he's not scheduled to play. The Augusta GreenJackets, a Giants affiliate, started an "Augusta for A-Rod'' campaign in hopes of encouraging Yankees general manager Brian Cashman to continue Rodriguez's rehab stint with the RiverDogs, who start a four-game series in Augusta Thursday.
With the "Augusta for A-Rod'' campaign, fans used the code AROD to purchase tickets to Thursday's's game with the RiverDogs in case Rodriguez made the trip to Georgia.
Even though Rodriguez isn't going to Augusta, fans who purchased a ticket with the AROD code and attend the GreenJackets-RiverDogs game will receive a free ticket for another game of this weekend's series.