Alex Rodriguez loses his sun glasses as he throws out...

Alex Rodriguez loses his sun glasses as he throws out Edwin Encarnacion in the sixth inning. (July 18, 2012) Credit: David Pokress

With two groundouts and a fly to right, Alex Rodriguez struggled at the plate Wednesday.

He also had a tough day in the field.

The third baseman, who was the designated hitter in the previous two games because of a stiff neck, fired a throw well wide of Mark Teixeira in the first inning on Brett Lawrie's grounder for an error. He also misplayed Yuniel Escobar's slow hopper off his glove (which was scored a hit) in the sixth.

He was cheered derisively by the crowd of 45,986 when he caught a high pop by Colby Rasmus, one batter after Escobar.

But Joe Girardi said Rodriguez, who also almost pulled Teixeira off the bag on Lawrie's bouncer in the second, "really doesn't look uncomfortable. He made a bad throw today, that's the bottom line. I don't think he gets the other guy [Escobar]; it's kind of a do-or-die play."

Extra bases

David Phelps was recalled from Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre and righthander D.J. Mitchell was optioned to Scranton. Phelps, 25, made the club out of spring training and was 1-3 with a 3.05 in 15 games, including three starts . . . Several milestones could be reached on the upcoming road trip: Derek Jeter needs one run scored to tie Eddie Collins (1,822) for 15th place on the all-time list, Rodriguez needs two homers to reach 300 as a Yankee and Nick Swisher needs two homers to reach 200 in his career . . . It was the first rain-shortened game for the Yankees since Aug. 2 last season in Chicago, a 6-0 victory that was also called in the middle of the seventh.

More Yankees headlines