- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 28, 2011

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. (AP) - New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez has been scratched from the starting lineup because of a sore right knee.

The Yankees announced the news about 30 minutes before the first pitch of Wednesday night’s game against Tampa Bay.

A-Rod had right knee surgery in July and has just 13 hits in 68 at-bats since returning on Aug. 21. He also sprained his left thumb shortly after coming off the disabled list last month.

Rodriguez had been dropped from his normal fourth spot in the lineup for Wednesday game against Tampa Bay lefty David Price. Mark Teixeira hit third, with Robinson Cano moving into the cleanup spot.

New York manager Joe Girardi didn’t rule out using the same set-up during the postseason.

“Tex has been very, very good against left-handers,” Girardi said. “And keep Alex behind Robby.”

The Yankees could also use a revised 3-4-5 lineup against right-handers as well in the postseason. In a potential preview Monday, Cano moved from fifth to third, while Teixeira was dropped from third to fifth. Rodriguez remained in the fourth spot.

“The bottom line is, you want to give your best hitters the most at-bats and put them in position to do the most damage,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.

Rodriguez is in a 4 for 29 skid. He did extra work with hitting coach Kevin Long about four hour before game time and took part in regular batting practice.



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