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11/02/09 12:57 AM EST

Benches warned after A-Rod plunking

Slugger drilled a third time, responds with another big hit

PHILADELPHIA -- Umpires warned both benches in the first inning of Sunday's World Series Game 4 after Alex Rodriguez was hit by a pitch for the third time in two games.

With Johnny Damon on third base and one out, Phillies starter Joe Blanton drilled Rodriguez in the rib cage with a 90-mph sinker on the first pitch of the at-bat. Rodriguez stood in place at the plate for several moments and stared into his dugout before heading slowly down the first-base line.

Microphones on home-plate umpire Mike Everitt picked up Rodriguez telling him, "It's the third time. It's a little obvious."

At that point, the umpires gathered near the pitching mound before warning both benches.

"I don't necessarily think it's intentional, but Alex has been hit three times and [Mark Teixeira] has been hit twice, and we don't necessarily like that because we need those guys," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It's pretty hard to hit people intentionally when there's runners in scoring position. But you can talk about if you're going to miss that you miss in, and we get concerned about that."

Rodriguez was hit twice in Saturday's Game 3, once to lead off an inning and once with two outs and a man on first -- also on the first pitch of the at-bat. After Game 4, Rodriguez insisted that the plunkings had not left more than a bruise.

Teixeira, meanwhile, was hit by Ryan Madson in the eighth inning of Game 2 and again in Sunday's ninth inning by Brad Lidge.

Alex Rodriguez tied the career record for World Series hit-by-pitches.
Player Team(s) Year(s) HBPs
Alex Rodriguez Yankees 2009 3
Derek Jeter Yankees '96,'01,'03 3
Reggie Jackson Yankees 1977-78 3
B. Campaneris A's 1973-74 3
Frank Robinson Reds, O's 1961,'71 3
Elston Howard Yankees '60,'62,'64 3
Yogi Berra Yankees 1953,'55 3
Max Carey Pirates 1925 3
Fred Snodgrass Giants 1911-12 3
Frank Chance Cubs 1906-07 3
Honus Wagner Pirates 1903,'09 3

After initially declining to comment on being hit, Rodriguez did permit himself one thought on the matter.

"I will say this: that the one time I got hit in yesterday's game, my first at-bat," Rodriguez said, "kind of woke me up a little bit and just reminded me, 'Hey, this is the World Series. Let's get it going a little bit.' So it worked out."

In the at-bat after being plunked by Cole Hamels in Game 3's first inning, Rodriguez exacted revenge with an opposite-field two-run homer to pull the Yankees within one. In Game 4, he came through with the go-ahead double with two outs in the ninth off Lidge to lift the Yankees to a 7-4 victory and a 3-1 series lead.

Yankees starter CC Sabathia said that the warning -- issued before he even took the mound -- did not affect his approach.

"It's tough that those guys got hit and they issued a warning," Sabathia said. "I thought it was a little premature. But it didn't affect me at all."

Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.