Alex Rodriguez likely back vs. Rays

NEW YORK -- New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is expected to return to the lineup on Monday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Rays, manager Joe Girardi said.

"I think he'll be in the lineup," Girardi said following his team's 8-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. "We can use his bat, that's for sure. We need him to come back and be productive for us."

Rodriguez, who has been on the disabled list since he fractured his left hand on July 24 against the Seattle Mariners, went through a rigorous workout on Sunday at the team's minor league complex in Tampa, according to a team spokesman. During the workout, Rodriguez took batting practice, fielded ground balls and ran the bases.

In two rehab games for Class A Tampa, Rodriguez went 0-for-7 with a walk, a run scored and four strikeouts. He served as the designated hitter on Friday night and played third base on Saturday night.

A-Rod suffered the injury when he was struck by a pitch from Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez. He has been on the DL ever since.

Rodriguez is hitting .276 with 15 home runs and 44 RBIs for the Yankees this season.

The Yankees have gone 18-18 since A-Rod went on the DL, and have struggled recently without him and first baseman Mark Teixeira (calf) in the lineup. In the past week, they've used the likes of Steve Pearce and Andruw Jones in the cleanup spot.