Alex Rodriguez is back in the middle of the order.

For how long isn't clear.

With Carlos Beltran given the night off, A-Rod, who batted seventh in the first two games and second in the third, was in the three-hole Friday night.

"His at-bats have been good," said Joe Girardi, who said if Beltran had played, he would have hit third. "His swings have been good. I know everyone's going to be caught up in the numbers, but our numbers aren't glaring out there anyway right now. But he's used to hitting in the middle of the order, he understands how to hit in that position and that's why I chose to do it tonight."

A-Rod had an RBI single in the sixth Friday night but struck out three times before the game went into extra innings.

"We'll just see how guys are swinging and go from there," Girardi said of leaving A-Rod, likely to get a day off Saturday, in the middle of the order. "But I do like the way he's swinging."

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Let's talk

Didi Gregorius committed two baserunning mistakes in the first three games, which has been addressed. "Whenever we have a situation that takes place, I talk to the players about it," Girardi said. "The situations are addressed, whether it's from me or through my coaching staff. I think that's just part of coaching. I think one thing that's important as a manager is you find out what they're thinking . . . and then you use that as a teaching moment."

Pirela update

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Utilityman Jose Pirela, out because of a concussion suffered March 22, has resumed baseball activities. "He's not ready to play in a game yet, but his condition has improved," Girardi said. "He's doing a little bit more every day, so hopefully it's not too long."