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A-Rod off Friday _ free to meet with MLB probers

Wednesday - 7/10/2013, 7:23pm  ET

New York Yankees' Alex Rodriquez drops the bat as he heads for first with a single in the sixth inning for the Tampa Yankees against the Dunedin Blue Jays in a minor league baseball rehab game in Tampa, Fla., Wednesday, July 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Scott Iskowitz)

MARK DIDTLER
Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Alex Rodriguez says he'll have a day off from his injury rehab assignment Friday -- leaving him free for a possible meeting with Major League Baseball investigators.

The New York Yankees third baseman is scheduled for the interview as part of baseball's probe of the closed anti-aging clinic Biogenesis, which is accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs. Rodriguez has said he used PEDs while with Texas from 2001-03 but has denied using them since.

Rodriguez says he has been told not to discuss the probe.

While it may take a long time for MLB to sort out whether A-Rod and others will be suspended, his short-term focus is on his comeback from hip surgery last winter.

He was 1 for 3 with a line-drive RBI single for Class A Tampa on Wednesday, leaving him 2 for 15 during his rehabilitation assignment. It was his first RBI in six minor league games.

"I was happy with all three at-bats," Rodriguez said. "Two balls right on the nose. This process, there's going to be some good days and some bad days, but it was a good day."

Rodriguez grounded out against injured Toronto reliever Sergio Santos, who pitched one inning for the Dunedin Blue Jays. Rodriguez had an extensive defensive session on a back field after the game.

"I'm trying to replicate my spring training routine as much as possible," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said he will play third base on Thursday with Tampa.

Rodriguez has been working the past couple days with Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, who was part of a postgame batting practice session Tuesday and watched the game Wednesday from the dugout. Jackson is a Yankees adviser.

"Like he told us, he has 45 years of major league experience. He reminded us of that," Rodriguez said with a smile. "Reggie is great. Reggie is fun to have around. He was very helpful after the game yesterday."

Rodriguez has played a maximum of five innings at third base in any minor league game and he would not be surprised in the next few days to increase his time at third to seven innings.

When asked whether could rejoin the Yankees at first as a DH, Rodriguez said manager Joe Girardi puts up the lineup and "whatever he wants me to do I'm going to do."

"I'm just anxious to get up there and help the team win," Rodriguez said.


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