Game 150: Yankees @ Blue Jays

September, 17, 2011
9/17/11
11:11
AM ET
Alex Rodriguez, who hasn't played since Sept. 9, is back in the lineup and batting fifth. Robinson Cano will bat in Rodriguez's customary cleanup spot.

"This is the best I've felt in over a month," Rodriguez said Friday, after taking eight rounds of live batting practice in Toronto. "I'm excited for tomorrow. I'm encouraged."

Rodriguez has been suffering from a sprained collateral ligament in his left thumb sustained on a dive for a ground ball in the eighth inning of a game on Aug. 21, his first game back after missing six weeks following knee surgery in July.

Since then, A-Rod has been in and out of the lineup with persistent pain in the thumb.

Here are today's lineups, first pitch at 1:07 p.m.:

YANKEES

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Nick Swisher RF
Jesus Montero DH
Brett Gardner LF
Austin Romine C
Bartolo Colon RHP

BLUE JAYS

Mike McCoy SS
Kelly Johnson 2B
Jose Bautista RF
Adam Lind 1B
David Cooper DH
Colby Rasmus CF
Brett Lawrie 3B
Adam Loewen LF
Jose Molina C
Henderson Alvarez RHP

Pre-Game Notes: Both of the Yankees young catching prospects ae in the lineup at the same time for the first time, Jesus Montero at DH and Austin Romine behind the plate, part of Joe Girardi's plan to prepare them to catch in the post-season in the event Francisco Cervelli does not recover from his concussion in time to be included on the playoff roster . . . Girardi said Romine had faced Henderson Alvarez, the Blue Jays' 21-year-old starter, in Double A and "hit some balls hard off him'' . . . Romine is the only to have ever faced Alvarez, who was called up in August and is making his eighth major-league start . . . Bartolo Colon is 9-5 with a 4.09 ERA in his career vs. Toronto. On Sept. 3 at Yankee Stadium, Colon allowed 4ER in 7IP but got a no-decision in the Yankees 6-4 victory.
Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
13 2.77 141 136
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146