Alex Rodriguez out of All-Star game

Alex Rodriguez’s sore right knee will keep him out of the

All-Star game and the Yankees’ lineup.

Rodriguez pulled out of Tuesday’s game in Arizona after he was

held out of the lineup against the Tampa Bay Rays before it was

postponed by rain on Friday night.

He was sent for an MRI that manager Joe Girardi said was

precautionary but he wasn’t sure if Rodriguez will be able to play

Saturday afternoon against the Rays.

Rodriguez had been reluctant to ask out of a game since being

injured, especially when Derek Jeter was on the disabled list. But

he has looked considerably slower on the basepaths recently.

”He’s not moving well,” Girardi said. ”His leg has been a

little sore.”

Rodriguez tweaked the knee against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on

June 19. Despite hitting .359 with 10 RBIs in his last 16 games,

Rodriguez has not homered in 85 at-bats, the longest single-season

drought of his career, and Girardi said the knee could be hindering

A-Rod’s plant leg when he swings, and thus his power.

Rodriguez has 13 homers this season and 626 for his career. He

hasn’t connected since June 11 though he hit a drive high off the

wall in center field at Citi Field a week ago, more than 400 feet

from home plate. After that game he said, ”I have no pop,” while

walking out of the Yankees clubhouse.

”He’s been banged up, he’s played a lot, Girardi said.

Rodriguez was elected by the fans to a 14th All-Star appearance,

most among active players. Girardi said it was the third baseman’s

choice because he was voted in.

”Would the rest help him? Probably,” Girardi said.

Rodriguez removed himself from the All-Star game shortly after

teammate Derek Jeter said he would not play so he can rest the

right calf that landed him on the DL for more than two weeks.

Mariano Rivera backed out on Thursday because he has a sore right

triceps and hasn’t pitched since Sunday, when he blew a save

against the Mets.

Also, Nick Swisher was out of Friday’s lineup because a sore

left quadriceps. Andruw Jones was scheduled to play right field in

his place.

With the Yankees’ Nos. 4 and 6 hitters out, Girardi moved Brett

Gardner to the top spot and bumped Jeter to second as he goes for

the final two hits to become the 28th player to reach 3,000.

”Without two middle of the order guys we just thought it would

be something different,” Girardi