Alex Rodriguez thought he had a home run in the eighth inning. His teammates did, too. His hitting coach, the managers, the 45,622 in attendance -- they all thought it was gone.
But like it's gone for the Yankees' offense lately, Rodriguez's ball ended up as an out. He put a good jolt into it and drove it well, only to see it land short of the wall in the Yankees' 5-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.
"Just the way things are right now," Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long said about the offense.
The Yankees' offense has been near-silent for the past week, struggling to score more than one or two runs in a handful of games. Long is preaching to his guys to keep fighting during these difficult times, as the Yankees have scored fewer than four runs in 16 of 41 games.
"As bad as we feel, it's probably not that bad right now," Long said. "It feels tough and there is some frustration and some disappointed guys. Our guys are our guys and we're going to keep throwing them out there and keep trying to put together good ABs."
In the past six games, the Yankees have scored 15 runs, failing to score more than five runs in a single game. Manager Joe Girardi singled out the offense in Sunday's loss, as the team managed just two runs on a homer by Raul Ibanez.
"There are things happening right now we have to overcome," Long said. "We can't say, 'Poor us.' If anything, let's fight against the world, let's go. That's a message I want those players to have and I think that's the best way to go about it."
TEX BACK: First baseman Mark Teixeira pinch-hit in the ninth inning and said he will return to the lineup on Monday night. Teixeira had just the one at-bat in the weekend series as he took time to rest as he battles a bronchial infection.
Teixeira believes the rest helped him, although he's still not 100 percent, and is hopeful he's going to get better. He acknowledged he's going to have to play through some discomfort for the time being, as he still has his cough.
"We're going to keep managing it," Teixeira said. "I'm not really worried about it. I've played a month and a half with it and I'll just hope that time is going to make it better."
Teixeira didn't seem to believe that taking a few more days would help him feel better, as there's no timeline as to when he should be fully recovered.
In his lone at-bat, he reached on an error after smoking a ball down the third-base line. He was pulled after reaching first, as running triggers the breathing issues.
JETER FINE: Shortstop Derek Jeter said he's fine after taking a ball off his hand in the ninth inning. Jay Bruce hit a sharp ball at him that bounced and caught the shortstop as he tried to scoop it. Bruce was credited with a single.