Tarp removed from field in Trenton

TRENTON, N.J. -- The tarp was on the field at Arm & Hammer Park at 3:30 p.m. -- despite the absence of rain -- but was removed 45 minutes later.

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is expected to play seven innings for Double-A Trenton on Saturday in what could be his final tuneup before returning to the majors.

The game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., and there's a 55 percent chance of rain starting around 9 p.m., according to weather.com. The forecast also calls for thunderstorms from approximately 9 p.m. to midnight.

More than 8,000 fans showed up Friday night, when Rodriguez went 1-for-2 with a homer, and he's expected to draw a sellout crowd Saturday when the Thunder face Reading. This marks Rodriguez's fourth game with Trenton. He is scheduled to bat second and play third base.

Rodriguez, 38, is also slated to work out Sunday. He is recovering from offseason hip surgery and a recent quadriceps strain.

As Rodriguez rehabs, a pending suspension looms. Baseball has not announced Rodriguez's punishment in the Biogenesis scandal, but a source told T.J. Quinn of ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that MLB is aiming for Monday. Rodriguez said Friday he and the Yankees have a "tentative" plan for him to return to action that day against Chicago.