The Yankees' Alex Rodriguez comes off the disabled list on...

The Yankees' Alex Rodriguez comes off the disabled list on Sunday. Credit: AP

Alex Rodriguez remains on schedule to get activated Sunday, the first day the Yankees third baseman is eligible to come off the disabled list, manager Joe Girardi said Monday.

Rodriguez, who initially injured his left calf Aug. 16 and was placed on the disabled list Aug. 21, took some light hitting in the cage for the first time before last night's game.

He also did some light jogging in the outfield while the A's took batting practice. He ran on the warning track in rightfield, only a few steps from the spot where Dallas Braden was shagging fly balls.

Rodriguez and Braden made up a few months ago after engaging in an extended back-and-forth barb session earlier this season. But this being the A's first trip to New York this season, Braden good-naturedly said he expects to hear boos when he pitches on Thursday afternoon.

"It wouldn't be New York if they didn't," Braden said before last night's game. "They've had a while to think of some good stuff so don't disappoint me."


Upbeat Andy

The next step in Andy Pettitte's rehab from a groin injury suffered July 18 will be "a pretty intense" bullpen session tomorrow, Girardi said. Pettitte has thrown two bullpens without pain, and is targeting a return to the Yankees in about two weeks.

His last throwing session was Sunday in Toronto, and he reported no pain yesterday. "Just a tiny bit of soreness," he said, "but I haven't been on a mound in a long time so I think that's pretty normal. I feel really good."

If all goes well Wednesday Pettitte could be ready to ramp up his rehab and face live hitters.


Heat precautions

With a stretch of five straight day games beginning Thursday - and with 90-degree temperatures forecast for the rest of the week - Girardi will look to give veterans such as Derek Jeter time off. "We'll look at how [Jeter's] playing, how he's feeling and make evaluations there," Girardi said.

With Kimberley A. Martin

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