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As the New York Yankees look to build off their most recent victory, it's uncertain if the reigning AL MVP will be there to help.
A leg injury could keep Alex Rodriguez out of the Yankees' lineup for the first time in 2008 when they open a three-game road series against the first-place Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made New York -132 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 9.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 91% of bets for this game have been placed on New York -132 (View MLB Bet Percentages). Bet this game.
Rodriguez strained his right quadriceps running out a grounder on Sunday as New York (10-10) snapped a three-game losing streak with a 7-1 win at Baltimore. The third baseman had an RBI double in the game, but left in the sixth inning.
"I felt it a little bit in my swing, then probably four or five steps out of the box, I felt a little twinge," said Rodriguez, who is 3-for-7 in his last two games and hitting .308 on the year.
Rodriguez was diagnosed with mild strain of his right quadriceps and will rejoin the Yankees on Tuesday, but it is unsure whether he will play in the series opener.
Rodriguez and Texas' Josh Hamilton are the only AL players to start every game this season.
The Yankees' first off day of 2008 on Monday could provide Rodriguez enough time to rest and be back in the lineup when they play the fourth of a 10-game road trip Tuesday.
"I'll get some rest, wake up and see how it feels," said Rodriguez, who is 6-for-17 (.353) against Chicago's scheduled starter, Jose Contreras. "I have a heat pad, sleep on that, then ice it, and do treatment all day and let it roll."
Though New York's lineup has struggled even with Rodriguez, it doesn't want to be without its superstar for too long. The seven runs Sunday matched the Yankees' total during the three-game skid.
"We're not where we want to be," said first-year Yankees manager Joe Girardi, whose team's 85 runs rank in the bottom half of the AL. "This is an offense where we expect to score runs. We did (Sunday), and it was nice to see."
Johnny Damon homered and combined with Derek Jeter for four hits and five RBIs on Sunday. Jeter has hit safely in all seven contests - batting .387 with 10 of his 11 RBIs during that span - since missing six games with a quadriceps injury.
Even if Rodriguez is unable to play, New York could be in good shape when Chien-Ming Wang (3-0, 3.81 ERA) takes the ball Tuesday.
Wang is 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in three outings versus the White Sox, and he went the distance the last time he faced them in a 5-1 victory at U.S. Cellular Field on June 6.
The right-hander was dominant in winning his first three starts this season before getting roughed up by Boston on Wednesday, when he matched a career high by allowing eight runs and nine hits in four innings in the Yankees' 15-9 home win.
The AL Central-leading White Sox (11-7) return home after a 6-0 win at Tampa Bay on Sunday to take two of three from the Rays.
Jim Thome went 4-for-5 with three RBIs and hit home run No. 512 to tie him with Ernie Banks and Eddie Matthews for 19th place on the all-time list. Following a 5-for-40 slump (.125), Thome has hit .389 (7-for-18) with three homers and nine RBIs in his last five games.
"Jimmy can carry a ballclub," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He just had to be patient."
After a strong outing from starter John Danks on Sunday, the White Sox hope Contreras (1-1, 4.34) can build off his most recent effort.
Contreras allowed a run and four hits in seven innings of a 3-1 win at Baltimore on Wednesday. The right-hander, who spent 2003 and part of 2004 with New York, has lost his last four starts against his former team for a 2-4 career mark with a 3.96 ERA against the Yankees.