New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (13) rounds third...

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (13) rounds third base after hitting a three run homerun in the bottom of the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. (April 13, 2011) Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

TORONTO -- Alex Rodriguez's sore oblique made enough progress the last two days to allow him to take 40-50 swings Tuesday with hitting coach Kevin Long.

Still, the Yankees, along with the third baseman, decided he should sit out a second straight game. "Geno thought it was best if we gave him one more day," Joe Girardi said.

Rodriguez expects to play Wednesday and said if the circumstance had been different -- the Yankees being in the middle of a tight race in September, for example -- he would have played.

"Gun to the head, there's no question I could probably strap it on today," Rodriguez said before the game. "But everyone's opinion was to take one more day.''

Rodriguez, who is hitting .385 with four homers and nine RBIs and an .821 slugging percentage, came out of Saturday's game against the Rangers with the injury.

"We just want to be smart about it," A-Rod said. "We're in the middle of April."

 

Long wait

Bartolo Colon, 37, will make his first big-league start Wednesday since July 24, 2009, taking Phil Hughes' place. Rogers Centre is as good a place as any for him to do so, as he's 4-2 with a 3.86 ERA here.

"It's because it's Toronto, I like to pitch away," Colon said. "My numbers are better when I pitch away."

In his career, Colon is 75-55 with a 4.13 ERA at home; 78-49 with a 4.06 ERA on the road.

Colon threw 69 pitches in his first appearance out of the bullpen April 3 against Detroit. He threw 62 and 54 pitches, respectively, in his next two outings, against Boston on April 8 and Baltimore on April 14.

Colon said he felt strong enough to throw 90-95 pitches Wednesday, but Girardi said around 80 might be the maximum.

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