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Alex Rodriguez contributes steal, big double to victory

Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees steals

Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees steals second base in the fourth inning ahead of the tag from Carlos Sanchez of the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Joe Girardi took exception to the question, but Alex Rodriguez relished discussing his stolen base in the fourth inning of Saturday's 2-1 victory over the White Sox.

The steal for the 40-year-old Rodriguez, who has two repaired hips and seems to run out routine grounders in slow motion, wasn't as important as his go-ahead double in the sixth, but he appeared to savor it just the same.

After leading off the fourth with a walk, Rodriguez raced for second with two outs and easily beat the throw from Tyler Flowers.

It became a talking point in Girardi's postgame remarks. Asked what he thought about Rodriguez taking off, Girardi said, "Well, I green-lighted him, so what do you think I thought? I wanted him to get in scoring position if he could. This is a very smart baserunner, very, very smart baserunner, and I trust him on the bases.''

Said Rodriguez, "Look, Joe and I have been together for a long time. He trusts me. It doesn't happen often, but once in a while, the slowest runner in baseball sneaks a stolen base.''

It was his fourth in four tries this season and the 326th of his career.

Rodriguez had two hits in his last 26 at-bats when he came to the plate in the sixth with Chase Headley on second after hitting a ground-rule double to left-center that tied the score at 1-1.

Rodriguez smashed a 3-and-1 pitch down the third-base line that ricocheted off Mike Olt's glove and went into the stands for a second consecutive ground-rule double and a 2-1 lead. "I took a good swing on it,'' he said. "It had a lot of topspin. It just ate up the third baseman.''

It was something of a rare win without a home run for the Yankees. "We wish we can go out and hit home runs every day. Obviously, that's not the case,'' Rodriguez said. "And it's not going to be in October [against playoff pitching], so we have to figure out and be creative and try to score runs.''

Headley had been 6-for-44 before his double. "You just gotta keep going,'' he said. "You go through these times throughout the year and obviously you're frustrated when it happens, even more frustrated when it happens in crunch time toward the end of the year. The last few games, I felt better, and hopefully I'll get hot at the right time and I'll be able to carry it into October.''

Headley feels linked to Rodriguez, who was the starting third baseman before receiving a suspension that kept him out of the lineup for the entire 2014 season. Headley said Rodriguez never expressed any resentment when Headley was signed as his replacement in the field.

"I was fortunate that Alex was tremendously welcoming,'' Headley said. "And he called me and said congratulations and said that he was looking forward to winning and doing some special things, so he really made the transition as easy as it could possibly be.''

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