ANAHEIM, Calif. — Alex Rodriguez stood in front of his locker May 22 and declared a breakout was coming.
The following day, against Royals rookie Will Smith, Rodriguez hit a pair of home runs, the first of which snapped a 52- at-bat homerless streak.
But he hasn’t homered since and as the month of May nears an end, A-Rod, entering Wednesday night, was stuck on seven homers and 19 RBIs.
“Obviously I wish I had 35 or 40 [RBIs], it’s definitely a low number,” Rodriguez said before the game. “But I’ll take nights like [Tuesday] night and keep building on that.”
In Tuesday’s loss Rodriguez reached base four times, collecting three singles and getting hit by a pitch. A-Rod entered Wednesday homerless in his last 23 at-bats but, to be fair, hardly was in a tailspin, 7-for-21 with a walk to that point on this nine-game trip.
Asked if there will come a point where he starts to worry about his ability to hit 30 or more home runs, Rodriguez, who turns 37 in July, didn’t pause.
“No, that will never happen,” he said.
Joe Girardi appeared to get defensive talking about Rodriguez’s apparent diminished power before the game.
“I wouldn’t just call him a singles hitter, he’s got seven home runs and we’re 50 games in so that equates to over 20 home runs over the course of the season,” he said.
But 20-plus has never been the standard for a player who is fifth on the all-time homer list with 636.
A-Rod is far from alone in his lack of production. Entering Wednesday, the Yankees overall were hitting .151 (8-for-53) with the bases loaded this season — ranking them 26th in the majors — including 0-for-their-last-15. Last season they led the AL, hitting .337 in those situations and led the majors in 2010, hitting .334.