After hearing loud boos from Yankee Stadium fans after each of his four outs Friday night, Alex Rodriguez bounced back with two hits and scored the final run of the Yankees' 5-3 win over the Angels Saturday afternoon in front of a friendlier crowd of 47,789.
The reaction to Rodriguez was indifferent after outs in his first two at-bats. But he belted a leadoff double to left-centerfield in the sixth and scored on a single by Robinson Cano to give the Yankees their two-run cushion. A-Rod added an infield single and a stolen base in the eighth.
"He's going to be a guy we talk about all the time just because of who he is and the numbers that he's put up," Joe Girardi said. "But the double and the tack-on run is a huge run to make it 5-3. He had a big day."
Well, "big" has become a relative term for Rodriguez, who is muddling along with 13 homers, 38 RBIs and a .435 slugging percentage that would be a career low for a full season. Girardi used Rodriguez as the designated hitter for the 22nd time this season Saturday.
Asked before the game if he has considered moving A-Rod lower in the order, Girardi said, "We're not at that point yet. We've hit him third against righthanders, and he's been getting on base and scoring runs for us. We've hit him fourth against lefties. Until [Friday] night, I think he was hitting .290 against lefties and seven of his home runs were off lefties."
Rodriguez chose not to speak to reporters after the game, but Girardi said he doesn't believe the booing at home has affected him.
Said Girardi, "He's been through it before."
CC should start Tuesday
CC Sabathia, who is recovering from a groin strain, threw on the side Saturday and expects to start Tuesday night against Toronto at the Stadium if a scheduled bullpen session Sunday goes well. "That's the plan right now," Sabathia said. "As long as we have no setbacks, we should be ready to go." . . . Angels slugger Mark Trumbo, who had homered in five straight games against the Yankees, went 0-for-3.