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Two games down, two to go for A-Rod

7/19/2013

MOOSIC, Pa. -- Two games down, two to go.

That's the situation Alex Rodriguez faces as he inches closer to his return to the major leagues.

A-Rod went 2-for-4 as a DH on Friday night for Triple-A Scranton.

If Rodriguez makes it through his next two games with Scranton healthy, he is expected to return to the New York Yankees on Monday for the start of a four-game road series against the Texas Rangers.

Rodriguez homered on Thursday night in his first game back with Scranton. On Friday, he didn't make as much noise at the plate, but offered more evidence that he's ready to come back to the bigs.

Here is a breakdown of A-Rod's night:

AT THE PLATE: Rodriguez's fourth and final at-bat was his best of the night.

A-Rod hit a hard line drive to left that one-hopped off of the wall.

He was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double (more on that below) on a feet-first slide.

A-Rod grounded to short in the first, hit a fly ball to right that dropped in in the fourth and struck out on a 2-2 off-speed pitch in the sixth.

Overall, Rodriguez is 8-for-36 with two homers and eight strikeouts in 12 rehab games.

Sunday is the final day of Rodriguez's 20-day stint.

At that point, the Yankees have to decide whether they want to recall Rodriguez to the majors or keep him on the disabled list.

Brian Cashman has said Rodriguez, who is embroiled in baseball's Biogenesis scandal, will rejoin the big club if he is healthy.

IN THE FIELD: Rodriguez was the RailRiders' designated hitter on Friday. He is expected to play the field on Saturday and Sunday.

ON THE BASES: Rodriguez has said in recent days that he'd wanted to test his surgically-repaired hip by sliding into second. He got his chance in the eighth inning when he tried to stretch a hard single into a double.

A-Rod appeared to slow up as he rounded first on his liner to left, but then sprinted toward second after he located the ball.

Louisville left fielder Felix Perez made a strong throw to second baseman Emmanuel Burriss, who applied the tag on Rodriguez as he slid in feet first to second.

Rodriguez looked a bit tentative on the slide.

WHAT'S NEXT: Rodriguez is expected to be back in the lineup and at third base on Saturday night for Scranton's game against Louisville.