Yanks' Rodriguez out of starting lineup after being hit in lower leg by ball during BP

Yankees star Alex Rodriguez was hit in the leg by Lance Berkman's sharp grounder during batting practice Saturday and was removed from the starting lineup against Boston.

X-rays were negative and Rodriguez had a bruise on his lower left leg near the base of his shin. There was no immediate word on how long the All-Star third baseman would be sidelined.

"I'm not a doctor," Berkman said, but "usually it's not a lingering issue."

Rodriguez, who hit career homer No. 600 on Wednesday, was fielding balls near third base when he was struck more than two hours before the start of the game.

Rodriguez walked toward a protective screen in short center field, then was down on the ground for a couple of minutes while medical personnel attended to him.

He was able to walk off the field under his own power and taken for treatment. He was not available for comment before New York played the Red Sox.

"It doesn't make you feel good when you see a teammate writhing around on the ground" because of a ball off your bat, the recently acquired Berkman said.

Berkman said his initial thought was: "Oh my gosh, it hit him." Next, Berkman's reaction was: "I hope it's not broken."

Said Yankees captain Derek Jeter: "He'll be all right."

Ramiro Pena took over at third base for Rodriguez.