Alex Rodriguez talks to Yankees first base coach Mick Kelleher...

Alex Rodriguez talks to Yankees first base coach Mick Kelleher between innings. (April 28, 2011) Credit: AP

Joe Girardi informed Alex Rodriguez after Friday night's game that he'd be out of the lineup Saturday, and the third baseman was fine with that.

"I'll take the day off and get some rest,'' said A-Rod, who was available to pinch hit but did not.

Rodriguez, in a 3-for-23 skid that coincided with his return from a minor oblique injury, said one had nothing to do with the other. "No, it feels good,'' he said. "That's in the past.''

Girardi said Rodriguez is fine physically, but the manager thought that after playing seven straight days, A-Rod looked fatigued at the plate.

"You look, he's played seven days in a row, and sometimes you say, you know what, maybe today's a good day,'' Girardi said. "You look and say, is he getting away from using his legs a little bit? Maybe.''

Rodriguez didn't dispute that. "For hitting, the legs are the most important thing,'' he said. "If you have fatigue in your legs at all, for any hitter, you have a tendency to jump at the ball a little bit. I've always said that hitting, the most important thing is the legs, having a good foundation.''

 

No long ball

Saturday's game was only the fourth in 24 this season in which the Yankees did not hit a home run. They entered the game with a major league-best 43 homers. And that was OK with Girardi.

"As I've said, I don't care how we get runs, just so we get runs,'' he said. "People have gotten caught up with how many home runs we've hit, and that's a good thing, but our guys are also capable of doing the little things, and we saw that today.''

 

Extra bases

Robinson Cano went 1-for-3, giving him at least one hit in 18 of his last 19 games and 21 of 24 games this season. He hit .330 with eight homers and 21 RBIs this April after hitting .400 with eight homers last April. Cano hit fourth Saturday and raised his average to .315 in 32 career games in which Rodriguez has not been in the lineup . . . Francisco Cervelli, activated Friday, is scheduled to make his season debut Sunday, catching Ivan Nova . . . Brett Gardner's bloop single to left in the third gave the Yankees a 5-2 lead and proved to be the winning hit.

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