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A-Rod's 'personal challenge'

Outside of the eighth inning of Game 1, the Yankees have three runs in three games against the Rangers in the ALCS. So Alex Rodriguez, who is 2-for-13 in the series, said he and his teammates need to take it as a “personal challenge” to score runs in Game 4 on Wednesday.

“I think collectively, we’re better than the two hits and one walk that we had tonight,” Rodriguez said after going 0-for-3 against Cliff Lee in the Yankees’ 8-0 loss in Game 3. “We really have to take it as a personal challenge to score some runs.”

Rodriguez struck out looking to lead off the second, flew out to left with Mark Teixeira on first and two out in the fourth and grounded out to second to lead off the seventh.

"The bottom line: two hits and one walk (against Lee) is just not enough for our offense," Rodriguez said.

A-Rod's only impact in the ALCS thus far – and it was a big one – was a single in the eighth inning in Game 1 that pulled the Yanks to within one run in their 6-5 Game 1 win. He finished 3-for-13 with an RBI and a run scored in the ALDS.

But it's unfair to put the blame for Game 3 on A-Rod – or any other Yankee hitter. Rodriguez wasn’t overstating things when he called Lee’s 13-strikeout, one-walk performance “pretty much masterful.”

“You’ve got to just tip your cap to him,” Rodriguez said. “He didn’t really give us anything to hit all night.”