09/07/12 11:23 PM ET
A-Rod's 300th Yankees homer key in win
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
The blast off Baltimore starter Wei-Yin Chen was Rodriguez's 16th of the year and the 645th of his career. He previously hit 189 homers with the Mariners and 156 with the Rangers.
"I had no idea I had 300, but the only numbers we're worried about right now are W's," Rodriguez said. "Whatever you're going to do for the year is already done. Numbers are done, stats are done; we're worried about one thing, and that's winning games. That makes it a lot of fun, so a lot of good things happened today."
Rodriguez is sixth on the Yankees' all-time list, trailing Hall of Famers Babe Ruth (659), Mickey Mantle (536), Lou Gehrig (493), Joe DiMaggio (361) and Yogi Berra (358).
The homer was the first for Rodriguez since he was activated from the disabled list, missing time with a fractured left hand, and catcher Russell Martin said that Rodriguez's presence in the order has been "huge" for the Yankees.
"He just extends the depth of our lineup," Martin said. "He matches up well against anybody, especially once he gets going a little bit. He hasn't had that many ABs, but you can tell that he's starting to take better swings."
Rodriguez also had one other notable milestone in the game. His second-inning single was his 2,877th hit, surpassing Mel Ott for sole possession of 39th place on the all-time list.
Owning an 11-game hitting streak, Rodriguez is two hits shy of tying Frankie Frisch for 38th all-time, and six hits shy of tying Zack Wheat for 37th place.
Nova anxious to return, possibly this weekend
BALTIMORE -- The Yankees have right-hander Ivan Nova rested and about ready to come off the disabled list, which could forecast a late rotation switch during this series against the Orioles.
Though manager Joe Girardi said the team has not made any decisions regarding Nova, it is possible that the club could activate Nova to make Sunday's start in place of Freddy Garcia.
"I don't know what's going to happen," Nova said. "They don't tell me anything yet. I'm just waiting like you guys. I've got nothing."
Nova has been on the disabled list since Aug. 23 with inflammation in his right rotator cuff, but fired a 30-pitch bullpen session on Thursday at Camden Yards and said he is anxious to get back in action.
"I can't wait to be back on the mound," Nova said. "It feels like two months for me. It feels so weird. I just want to be back there pitching."
Girardi said that because Nova threw a bullpen session Thursday, he probably couldn't help the Yankees on Friday, but added that they could activate him as soon as Saturday if they want to.
"Right now, we haven't made any decisions," Girardi said. "We're on rotation."
Nova was 1-3 with an 8.59 ERA in his last five starts before going on the DL, and is 1-2 with a 7.99 ERA in four starts against the Orioles this season.
But Garcia has struggled as well, unable to complete five innings in two of his three previous starts. Garcia served up three homers to the Rays in his last outing, on Sept. 4, taking the loss in a 5-2 defeat.
"All I want to do is compete and help," Nova said. "I know I wasn't pitching good lately, but I still believe in myself. I know I can help the team to win games."
Yanks give Teixeira one more day to rest calf
BALTIMORE -- The Yankees expect to have Mark Teixeira in their lineup and playing first base on Saturday for the third game of a four-game weekend showdown with the Orioles.
Teixeira tested his strained left calf again on Friday and said that he felt better than 80 percent, but manager Joe Girardi and head athletic trainer Steve Donohue recommended that Teixeira rest for one more day before getting back to action.
"They don't want me to play today," Teixeira said Friday. "It's kind of a group decision. Joe & Steve Donohue agreed that when you say you're OK, you're probably saying it too early; give it one extra day. I would have loved to play today, but they just want to be smart."
Teixeira took ground balls at first base on Friday, as well as batting practice, and said he would prefer to play defense rather than serve as the designated hitter in order to keep himself loose. Teixeira fully expects that will be the case.
"If I don't play tomorrow, then we're going to have a lot of conversation," Teixeira said. "Today I just said, 'OK, whatever you guys think is best.' Tomorrow I definitely want to play."
Teixeira has missed 10 games, including Thursday's contest, with the calf strain. A similar injury cost Derek Jeter three weeks last season, but the Yankees have been more aggressive with Teixeira because of New York's standing in the playoff chase.
"I'd like to think that I'd be playing well the last 10 games, but I've had pretty bad 10-game stretches in my career," Teixeira said. "Maybe we would've been worse off. I don't know.
"I think I'm ready to be back, I think the team is probably ready for me to be back. Hopefully when I come back, I'm fresh and hitting the ball all over the place and making plays at first and helping this team win."
Left-hander Andy Pettitte is scheduled to be seen by a doctor on Monday in New York, manager Joe Girardi said, and the hope is that Pettitte will be cleared to resume full baseball activities -- including running. Pettitte has been sidelined since late June with a fractured left ankle.
With a second-inning single Friday, Alex Rodriguez has now hit safely in each of his last 11 games, dating back to July 19 prior to going on the disabled list. It is his longest single-season hitting streak since a 12-gamer from Aug. 21-Sept. 3, 2009.
On this date in 1985, Dave Winfield scored what proves to be the game-winning run by stealing home in the sixth inning of a 3-2 win vs. Oakland.