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Other major leaguers also have spoken out, criticizing players penalized for using performance-enhancing drugs for the damage they’ve done to baseball. Boston pitcher John Lackey recently said he had a problem with Rodriguez being allowed to play while his suspension is under appeal.

Cashman specifically took issue with Rodriguez and his new lawyer, defending the team’s medical treatment of the star third baseman during last year’s playoffs.

Over the weekend, lawyer Joseph Tacopina told The New York Times that the Yankees tried to make Rodriguez look bad, claiming they used him in the playoffs while he was hurt. The three-time AL MVP went 3 for 25 with 12 strikeouts in the 2012 postseason.

“I know that our medical staff did everything they possibly can to assist Alex, help Alex, diagnose Alex and give him the best proper medical care,” Cashman said.

Cashman said Rodriguez never complained of any problem during the playoffs until Girardi pulled him for a pinch-hitter in a key spot.

This weekend, Rodriguez said: “I shouldn’t have been out there last year.”

Cashman disputed that stance. He didn’t like how the message was delivered, either.

“Did he ever say he didn’t feel right? He never said it,” the GM said.

“You see the attorney say what he said and Alex is talking to you guys after the game and it seems like when I’m reading the comments, it’s like, `I can’t really comment.’ It’s as if he doesn’t know anything about it, which we all know he really does,” Cashman said.

Sidelined by a hip injury and quadriceps problem, the 38-year-old Rodriguez made his season debut Aug. 5 on the same day MLB handed down his suspension.

Rodriguez was hitting .279 with one homer and four RBIs going into Sunday’s game. After being hit by a pitch, he drove in a run with groundout in his next at-bat.

In the sixth, Rodriguez hit a leadoff drive to straightaway center field against Dempster and let out a scream as he rounded both first base and third. The three-time MVP clapped his hands as he stepped on home plate and pointed to sky.

The home run trimmed the Yankees’ deficit to 6-4, and they went ahead later in the inning when Brett Gardner hit a bases-loaded triple.

Rodriguez’s second homer since coming off the disabled list left him 11 behind Willie Mays for fourth place on the career list.