A-Rod singles, Yankees lose 8-1 to White Sox

Alex Rodriguez got hit with a long suspension, then made his

return to the lineup.

Derek Jeter got shut down, at least for a little while. And if

that wasn’t enough, the Yankees somehow managed to get blown out by

a team that had dropped 10 in a row.

Otherwise, it was just another day at the ballpark.

Alex Rios Drove in four runs, Alexei Ramirez added four hits and

the Chicago White Sox stopped their skid with an 8-1 victory over

New York on Monday night.

”I think they hit the ball in the right spots tonight and swung

the bats pretty well,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

As for A-Rod?

”I thought he looked OK,” Girardi said. ”I thought his swings

looked pretty good tonight. That’s about all I can say. I thought

he looked OK.”

Rodriguez, who was booed and taunted all night, blooped a single

in his season debut, hours after he was suspended through 2014 by

Major League Baseball in the Biogenesis case.

The three-time MVP, who had been out following hip surgery,

plans to appeal his punishment.

”I just hope that there’s a happy ending there somewhere,” he

said.

His suspension overshadowed everything else, whether it was

Jeter going back on the disabled list because of a strained right

calf, Andy Pettitte (7-9) getting knocked out early or Jose

Quintana (6-3) pitching into the seventh for the White Sox.

Was it a good day for baseball?

”A little bit of both,” Jeter said. ”I don’t know if you can

say it’s a good day anytime you’re talking about a negative,

negativity. I understand what baseball is trying to do; they’re

cracking down on players.”

Rodriguez, meanwhile, is digging in, ready to go toe to toe with

MLB.

At 38 and coming back from the hip injury, he said he’s fighting

for his life. He was welcomed back with the same sort of greeting

he got on the road in the past, a series of boos and jeers that

were amplified by the penalty announced earlier in the day.

The crowd at U.S. Cellular Field booed Rodriguez during pregame

warm-ups and introductions. When he stepped to the plate in the

second inning, the fans could have drowned out a jet.

They weren’t feeling any better after Rodriguez dropped a

leadoff single into shallow left on the third pitch. He moved to

third with no outs on Vernon Wells’ double but was stranded.

Rodriguez flied out in his second and third at-bats and handled

a few grounders at third, getting booed every time he stepped to

the plate or touched the ball.

He also struck out in the eighth as fans chanted ”Steroids!

Steroids!”

Rodriguez shrugged off the reaction. ”I love Chicago,” he

said. ”I love the fans here. It’s just a great town, great people.

I’m just so humbled being on the field, being able to play the game

I love.”

Rodriguez did not deny using performance-enhancing drugs in a

news conference after the punishment came down. Instead he said he

will talk about whether he used PEDs at another time when he is

more free to speak.

He did say he has to defend himself because no one else

will.

”I want nothing but the best for Al and his family,” Pettitte

said. ”Glad to see him back. He’s going to help this club. He’s a

great ballplayer. He’s into the game. He’ll definitely help

us.”

The Yankees are hoping Rodriguez can provide some sort of spark

even though they’re fading from the playoff picture. They need more

power for their lineup, something that’s been a particular problem

for their third basemen.

Pettitte, however, did them no favors. He lasted 2 2-3 innings

in his shortest outing since July 18, 2010, while matching season

highs for runs (seven) and hits (11). He fell to 0-3 in his last

four starts.

Rios delivered an RBI single and scored during a three-run

first. He added a two-run single in the second that made it

5-0.

Rios then capped a two-run third with a bases-loaded walk after

Preston Claiborne replaced Pettitte, making it 7-0.

That was more than enough for Quintana, who gave up one run and

eight hits in 6 2-3 innings.

”It was just a good night offensively,” White Sox manager

Robin Ventura said. ”Guys were swinging it.”

NOTES: Pettitte is the first Yankees pitcher since at least 1920

to allow runs in the first inning in seven straight starts within a

single season, according to STATS LLC. … Besides Rodriguez,

Yankees C Francisco Cervelli and minor league OF Fernando Martinez

were suspended 50 games. ”I think he had made strides this year as

a player, and I want him to come into spring training ready to go,

try to learn from what has happened,” manager Joe Girardi said

when asked about Cervelli. … With Jeter going on the DL, the

Yankees recalled infielder Dave Adams from Triple-A

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. They also designated infielder Brent

Lillibridge for assignment, and Rodriguez was activated from the

disabled list. Outfielder Thomas Neal was claimed off waivers by

the Cubs. … White Sox LF Dayan Viciedo jammed his left thumb

diving for Robinson Cano’s single in the first inning and left the

game. The team said X-rays were negative and he’s day to day. …

RHP Hiroki Kuroda (10-6, 2.38 ERA) starts for the Yankees, with LHP

Chris Sale (6-11, 2.92) pitching for Chicago on Tuesday.