TAMPA, Fla. -- In his final tune-up with the Tampa Yankees before heading north, Alex Rodriguez went 1-for-3 with two RBIs, including an run-scoring double, a walk and a strikeout as the designated hitter Sunday in Tampa's 4-3 win over the Bradenton Marauders. Rodriguez produced his first deep drive in the eight rehab games he has played with Charleston and Tampa.
Working toward a second-half return from offseason hip surgery, Rodriguez drove a 3-1 fastball offering from Pirates pitching prospect Joely Rodriguez to deep center, hitting the base of the fence undeneath the 408-foot marker at George M. Steinbrenner Field to score Mason Williams from second. It was A-Rod's first opportunity in this rehab stint to truly test his surgically-repaired hip.
Following the double, A-Rod went to third on a single to left by Peter O'Brien, but was stranded there when Gary Sanchez grounded out to third.
Rodriguez is 3-for-21 with three RBIs, two singles, a double and six strikeouts while getting hit by a pitch twice since beginning with Charleston on July 2.
In his first at-bat, A-Rod, batting second, drew a walk off of Rodriguez with one out, advanced to second on single to left by O'Brien, and moved to third on a fielder's choice groundout to the pitcher by Gary Sanchez before the Bradenton left-handed starter struck out Ben Gamel to end the inning.
A-Rod struck out in his next at-bat on six pitches from the 21-year-old Rodriguez for the last out of the third inning. The Yankees third-baseman fouled off three of the four strikes before striking out on a foul tip on a 1-2 count.
After collecting his first RBI of the game, A-Rod earned his second one of the contest in the seventh inning with two men on base and one out in quirky fashion. Batting against St. Petersburg native Matt Benedict, Rodriguez hit a soft liner to right field that Bradenton outfielder Willy Garcia rushed in to catch before Garcia unexpectedly dropped it. On the play, Ali Castillo got hung up between second and third, scoring when Garcia threw to second to get an out on Mason Williams, who had been at first.
According to the official scorer, A-Rod earned an RBI on the fielder's choice.
BIOGENESIS UPDATE: A-Rod responded to questions about a New York Daily News report that his lawyers are negotiating a plea-bargain with MLB regarding his connection to the Biogenesis clinic in Miami.
"I don't know anything about that," said Rodriguez, who met with MLB on Friday. "Due to respecting the progress, we're going to let the due process play out."
NEW YORK, NEW YORK: With the sounds of Frank Sinatra booming over the sound system at the field named after The Boss, A-Rod finished his stay in Tampa by signing autographs for seemingly everyone following the game. While there were probably only around 200 people at the contest, A-Rod took time smiling and interacting with fans for close to 15 minutes.