- Wallace Matthews, ESPNNewYork.com
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BOSTON -- On Thursday, Joe Girardi said Alex Rodriguez's left hamstring strain was still an issue, and on Friday night, for the opener of the weekend series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, it apparently remained so, since for the third straight game A-Rod is in the lineup, but not on the field.
Rodriguez will be the DH tonight while Eduardo Nunez plays third base.
"My hope is tomorrow," Girardi said when asked when A-Rod could return to the field. "I really believe I could have played him today. I didn't even ask him. But my plan is to play him there tomorrow."
Over the past two games, Rodriguez has performed well as the DH, homering in Tuesday night's 5-4 Yankees win over the O's and scoring a run in Thursday's 6-5 win. But he seemed to run rather gingerly scoring on Vernon Wells' single in the third inning.
"I think he's just playing it safe," Girardi said. "I think I mentioned to him to just be smart about it. If he needed to run, I think he can run."
• Girardi acknowledged he might be without David Robertson, who got lit up for three runs in the eighth inning Thursday, allowing the Orioles to tie the game, and Mariano Rivera, who appeared in his fourth game in five days and was awarded the win after pitching a 1-2-3 ninth. In that case, Girardi said, "It will probably be closer by committee" tonight.
• Girardi said Austin Romine (slight concussion) felt better today, and did well on his ImPACT test, but was unlikely to play this weekend. "I'm not sure what we have, exactly," Girardi said. "I'll check with him every day to see where he's at, and check with [trainer] Stevie [Donohue] every day to see where he thinks he’s at."
• Girardi said Boone Logan (elbow soreness) "may have turned a corner" and could be available for the Toronto series, but was unable to play catch before tonight's game because a pregame rainstorm kept the infield covered until less than an hour before the scheduled first pitch.
• Ivan Nova (triceps soreness) is still scheduled to make his start in Sunday night's series finale, "as far as I know," Girardi said.
• Girardi said he didn't have a problem with Marc Jacobson, the official scorer on Thursday night, awarding the win to Rivera in what was a typical save situation, invoking a rule that denied the win to Robertson, who should have been the pitcher of record, because his outing was "ineffective and brief." Said Girardi: "I'd like to see [Rivera] get a save, but when I woke up this morning, it didn't change my life."