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Yankees sit struggling A-Rod to start Game 5


Alex Rodriguez will start the New York Yankees’ biggest game of the year on the bench.

After being pinch hit for in Games 3 and 4 against the Baltimore Orioles, the $ 275 million US third baseman was removed from the starting lineup for Game 5 of the American League Division Series on Friday (5:07 p.m. ET).

What would you do with slumping Alex Rodriguez?

Eric Chavez is set to start at third base, while Game 3 star Raul Ibanez will be the designated hitter in the winner-take-all series finale.

The 37-year-old Rodriguez is 2-for-16 (.125) with no runs batted in and nine strikeouts in the series. With runners on second and third and one out in the eighth inning of a 1-1 game Thursday night, he struck out against side-arming right-hander Darren O’Day. Baltimore went on to win 2-1 in 13 innings.

Since helping New York win the 2009 World Series, Rodriguez is 10-for-66 (.152) with no homers and six RBIs in post-season play. He hasn’t homered in 84 at-bats since Sept. 14.

With the Yankees trailing 2-1 in the ninth inning of Game 3, manager Joe Girardi sent up Ibanez to bat for A-Rod, and Ibanez hit a tying home run. Ibanez homered again in the 12th to give New York a 3-2 win.

Baltimore led 2-1 in the 13th inning in Game 4 when Chavez batted for Rodriguez and lined to third for the final out.

Fifth on the career list with 647 home runs — 115 behind Barry Bonds’s record — Rodriguez has been slowed by five trips to the disabled list in five seasons: for a strained quadriceps (2008), hip surgery (2009), a strained calf (2010), knee surgery (2011) and a broken hand (2012).

Before the start of spring training in 2009, he admitting using performance-enhancing drugs while he was with the Texas Rangers from 2001-03.

As for the rest of the Yankees’ lineup, Derek Jeter was back at shortstop after being moved to DH for a game because of a sore left foot. Jeter led off, followed by left fielder Ichiro Suzuki, second baseman Robinson Cano, first baseman Mark Teixeira, Ibanez, right-fielder Nick Swisher, centre-fielder Curtis Granderson, catcher Russell Martin and Chavez.

Yankees ace CC Sabathia was on the mound, opposed by Jason Hammel in a rematch of the opener, won by the Yankees 7-2.

CBC | Sports News

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