No A-Rod for Yankees in opener with Rangers

The seemingly snake-bitten New York Yankees expected to have Alex Rodriguez back in the lineup for the first time in 2013 on Monday in Arlington.

Instead the embattled Yankees third baseman suffered another setback and New York will arrive in north Texas for the opener of a four-game set against the Rangers without the three-time AL MVP.

The Yankees announced Sunday that Rodriguez is dealing with a Grade 1 strain of his left quad and he is now scheduled to return to Tampa for further evaluation.

This latest injury came in the midst of a minor league rehab stint and comes on the heels of the surgery performed in January to repair a torn labrum in A- Rod's left hip, something that caused the 14-time All-Star to miss the entire season to this point.

Rodriguez's time away from the Yankees has not been without controversy either, with the 37-year-old headlining a list of MLB players linked to Biogenesis of America, a Miami-based anti-aging clinic suspected of supplying performance-enhancing substances, and is currently under investigation by the league office.

"He's going to be out for a while," Yankees manger manager Joe Girardi said. "So we'll just deal with it and continue to play."

Rodriguez is dealing with one of many injuries that have derailed the Yankees so far this season. Stars Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson and Derek Jeter have combined to play in just 24 games this season and New York has floundered, especially offensively, coming into Monday's action as a fourth- place club in the AL East, seven games behind division-leading Boston after dropping the rubber match of a three-game set against the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Sunday.

Boston's Mike Napoli belted a walk-off homer in the 11th inning on that one to give the Red Sox a thrilling 8-7 victory over their long-time rival.

Napoli also crushed a three-run homer earlier in the four-hour, 46-minute affair, but bounced into a double play with the bases loaded to end the eighth with the game tied. It stayed 7-7 until Napoli sent Adam Warren's offering into the second row of seats in center field for Boston's ninth walk-off win.

The Yankees, who received three hits and a pair of RBI singles from Robinson Cano, have lost four of five overall.

Warren (1-1) took the loss behind CC Sabathia, who turned in a forgettable performance on his 33rd birthday, yielding seven runs on nine hits and two walks over five-plus frames.

Texas, on the other hand, is coming off a three-game sweep at the hands of Baltimore and has lost four consecutive overall after Sunday's 4-2 setback to the O's.

The Orioles knocked around Martin Perez early in that one as Baltimore finished off the sweep.

Perez (3-3) surrendered all four runs between the second and fourth innings, giving up nine hits over 6 1/3 frames. Adrian Beltre had a home run in the ninth and Ian Kinsler had two hits and knocked in a run for the Rangers, who have lost five straight to the Orioles and are three games behind Oakland in the AL West race.

"It was very uncharacteristic baseball (for us)," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Plays that we usually take pride in making, we didn't make them."

Yu Darvish returns from the disabled list to make his first start in 16 days for the Rangers tonight. The Japanese star is 1-0 with a sterling 1.98 ERA in two career starts against the Yankees. However, the right-hander has struggled recently and is just 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in his last four starts.

In Darvish's most recent outing he allowed five runs in six-plus innings during 9-5 loss to Houston on July before making his first career trip to the DL with a strained back.

"I think (the break) was good for me," Darvish told the Rangers' website through an interpreter. "I was able to rest and do everything I had to do."

Opposing Darvish will be Ivan Nova, who has excelled since a trip to the minors. The Dominican righty has compiled a gaudy 2.28 and has fanned 24 in 23 2/3 innings during his three starts since returning to the Yankees' rotation.

Nova, who has a 2-1 career mark against Texas, punched out six and surrendered one run over eight innings in his final start before the All-Star break, an 8-1 triumph over Kansas City back on July 10.

"Getting him back on track was really important to us," Girardi told the Yankees' official website. "We've seen him pitch really well. He got out of whack the second half (of 2012) and struggled a little bit at the beginning of the year, but he's back."

The Rangers took two of three from the Yankees in the Bronx back in June.