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 NEW YORK (AP) -Alex Rodriguez missed his first game of the season Thursday and an MRI exam on his strained left hamstring came back normal.
Rodriguez sat out of the New York Yankees' 7-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins, but manager Joe Torre said he could be back in the lineup Friday against the Los Angeles Angels.
``That's what I'm assuming is going to happen,'' Torre said.
Rodriguez tripped over Twins first baseman Justin Morneau's ankle Monday night while beating out a potential double play. The All-Star third baseman advanced to second before leaving the game.
``Day by day, we'll see,'' general manager Brian Cashman said before Thursday's game.
Rodriguez played third base Tuesday and was the designated hitter Wednesday. He went 0-for-4 both days and said after Wednesday's 6-2 loss to Minnesota that his hamstring didn't feel any better or worse.
``He was a little uncomfortable yesterday,'' Torre said. ``I don't think it's anything more than it was, but probably a couple of days playing on it exposed it a little bit more. We still don't think that it's anything that's going to require anything more than maybe a day or so off.''
The Yankees beat the Twins in the afternoon Thursday and open a three-game series against the Angels on Friday night, giving Rodriguez extra time to heal.
Miguel Cairo replaced the two-time MVP at third base against the Twins and designated hitter Hideki Matsui was in the cleanup spot. Matsui hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth.
Rodriguez, in a season-worst 0-for-19 skid, leads the majors with 28 homers and 80 RBIs. He topped fan voting for Tuesday's All-Star game in San Francisco with 3.89 million votes, but said Wednesday he could skip the game to rest his hamstring.
``I'm hoping, obviously, he can play,'' said Tigers manager Jim Leyland, who's in charge of the AL All-Star team. ``But if he can't play, he can't play. I was worried about it the other night when I saw it on TV.''
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AP Sports Writer Larry Lage in Detroit contributed to this report.

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