Saturday, August 7, 2010
Alex Rodriguez hurt in batting practice
By Wallace Matthews and Ian Begley
NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez was scratched from the lineup about 90 minutes before the start of Saturday's Yankees-Red sox game after suffering "a contusion of the lower left leg" after he was hit by a line drive off the bat of Lance Berkman during batting practice.
X-rays on Rodriguez's shin were negative. There was no immediate word on how long he would be sidelined.
"Do I expect him to play tomorrow? I have no idea," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after a 5-2 win over the Red Sox.
Berkman, who was batting right-handed, ripped a one-hopper down the third-base line that apparently caught Rodriguez on the left shin as he was taking grounders. "Look out!" Berkman shouted as the ball left his bat.
A-Rod said he'd just waved to Fox announcer Joe Buck when he got zinged.
"I never saw it," Rodriguez said. "It'd never happened to me before."
In obvious pain, Rodriguez hobbled around on the infield grass for a few seconds before staggering into short center field, where he rolled around on the grass before turning face down.
Some of Rodriguez' teammates, including Derek Jeter, thought at first that he was joking and yelled some light-hearted insults. Then, when it was obvious the injury was serious, Jeter shouted for trainer Gene Monahan, who hurried out to where Rodriguez lay.
Girardi, conversing with a member of the Red Sox behind the batting cage, also set out to minister to Rodriguez, and a small group of Yankees huddled over the stricken player before he arose and walked slowly off the field under his own power.
"He was in a substantial amount of pain," Girardi said of A-Rod, who is listed as day to day.
Berkman, acquired by the Yankees at the July 31 trading deadline from the Houston Astros, was one of several Yankees who surrounded Rodriguez as he lay on the turf. He offered an apology and Rodriguez nodded in acknowledgement.
"It was not like I was trying to hit him in the teeth and I hit low," Berkman said. "You don't want to hit anybody but you certainly don't want to hit your four-hole hitter. I was like, 'Berkman's contributions to the Yankees so far have not been the greatest.' Obviously, I didn't mean to do it."
As A-Rod walked off the field, Berkman said he told Rodriguez, "Hey man, sorry about that. I wasn't aiming for you, it just happens."
The Yankees said the injury, located at the base of Rodriguez's left shin, was swollen and being treated with ice.
"He'll be all right," Jeter said.
Asked about Rodriguez's reaction to the injury -- he writhed in obvious pain for nearly five minutes before being led off the field -- Jeter said, "He always acts like that when he gets hit."
In Rodriguez's place, Ramiro Peña was plugged into the lineup, playing third base and batting ninth. He went 1-for-3 with two RBIs.
Wallace Matthews is a columnist for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter. Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Andrew Marchand and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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