Bronx, NY – New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was inserted back into the starting lineup for Saturday's opener of the American League Championship Series, one day after the three-time league MVP was benched in an elimination game against the Baltimore Orioles.
Rodriguez will bat sixth in the Yankees' order for their matchup with the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the ALCS. The superstar slugger was held out of Friday's 3-1 victory over the Orioles in Game 5 of the ALDS after going 2- for-16 with a pair of singles and nine strikeouts over the first four games of the series.
Eric Chavez replaced Rodriguez on Friday, but went 0-for-3 and struck out twice.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi also pinch hit for the slumping Rodriguez in the two games that preceded Friday's do-or-die matchup.
Rodriguez was removed in favor of Raul Ibanez with New York trailing by a run in the ninth inning of Game 3, with Ibanez delivering a game-tying homer and later belting a walk-off solo shot in the 12th in the Yanks' dramatic 3-2 triumph.
In Game 4 on Thursday, Chavez came in as a pinch-hitter for Rodriguez in the 13th inning and lined out for the final out of a 2-1 Baltimore win. Rodriguez had a walk and a hit in his first two plate appearances Thursday, then struck out in the sixth with a runner aboard and fanned again in the eighth with the go-ahead run on third and one out. He also grounded out to short to open the 11th.