TAMPA, Fla. - Alex Rodriguez still isn't saying anything publicly about Major League Baseball's Biogenesis investigation, but at least his bat is starting to do a little talking.
The Yankees third baseman went 1-for-3 with two RBIs on Sunday for Class A Tampa, including a run-scoring double off the base of the centerfield fence. Tampa defeated Bradenton, 4-3, at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Next up: a trip to Reading, Pa., where Rodriguez will join Double-A Trenton Monday as he continues to rehabilitate after offseason surgery on his left hip.
"I'm very excited to be going up, absolutely," Rodriguez said. "I think we're on schedule."
Through eight games, he is 3-for-21 (.143) with three RBIs, six strikeouts and a walk. He has been hit by a pitch twice.
Sunday's double, his first extra-base hit, came after a walk and strikeout in his first two plate appearances.
In the seventh inning, A-Rod hit a ball to shallow rightfield that was dropped by Bradenton's Willy Garcia. Tampa's Mason Williams, who was heading back to first base before Garcia's drop, was thrown out at second. But Ali Castillo scored from second with the go-ahead run, so Rodriguez was credited with a fielder's choice and an RBI.
"I think getting the ball in the air is probably the most important thing," he said. "Even my little RBI . . . That's one thing about 'A' ball, you see things you've never seen before . . . Just getting the ball in the air to centerfield and the other way; to me, those are good signs.''
Rodriguez served as the designated hitter. Although he said he still believes he is on target to rejoin the Yankees on July 22 in Arlington, Texas, he acknowledged that he plans to use the full 20 days of his rehab assignment, which runs through July 21. He will turn 38 on July 27.
"I think it's better to be conservative and smart," Rodriguez said. "There's a few things I want to see myself do, especially this week. I think one of them would be going first to third, maybe go into second base and break up a double play aggressively. Maybe even score on a double from first base, come in with a barehanded play.
"There are a few boxes I want to check [off]."
Rodriguez also shot down a recent report that he was having trouble with a quadriceps muscle.
"I don't think I was 100 percent since I was a senior in high school,'' he said, "but I feel very good."
Rodriguez, who met with MLB investigators Friday, told reporters he does not feel any kind of disconnect from the organization.
However, he did sidestep a question about a report in the Daily News that his lawyers are trying to work out a plea- bargain arrangement regarding any possible suspension stemming from the Biogenesis investigation.
"I don't know anything about that," Rodriguez said. "Due to respecting the [process], we're going to let the due process play out."
With Erik Boland