A-Rod homers twice, plays in field

TAMPA, Fla. -- New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez homered twice and played seven innings in the field for the second straight day in an extended spring training game on Tuesday.

Sidelined since undergoing right hip surgery on March 9, the third baseman could rejoin the Yankees for Friday night's game at Baltimore. A-Rod said a return date has not been finalized.

"I have no idea about Friday," said Rodriguez, scheduled to play in another extended spring training game Wednesday. "I'm feeling good."

Rodriguez went 3-for-6 with two homers to center -- including one that cleared a 40-foot-high batter's eye -- and also lined a single. He had two plays at third, fielding a grounder and making a spin move to throw out Philadelphia minor leaguer Nerio Rios at first.

"He had a great day, actually," New York manager Joe Girardi said at Yankee Stadium as his team got ready to play the Boston Red Sox. "Ran hard to first, no issues."

Girardi said he spoke with Rodriguez and suggested the slugger should DH one of the next two days in Florida.

"He feels good. Exactly when we're going to get him back, I don't know," Girardi said. "It's something as we get a little bit closer we probably need to discuss what the best strategy is with this and with his rehab. But he is definitely getting closer."

The Yankees could use Rodriguez's bat as soon as possible -- especially with All-Star catcher Jorge Posada going on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday because of a strained hamstring.

Still, Girardi wouldn't commit to a Friday return for Rodriguez.

"A lot of it depends on how he feels tomorrow," the manager said. "Any day before May 15 is OK with us."

Rodriguez declined to comment on a book released Monday that makes the case that the three-time AL MVP most likely used steroids in high school and may have taken HGH while with the Yankees.