A-Rod exits with groin tightness

A-Rod exits with groin tightness

TORONTO -- Alex Rodriguez left the Yankees' 4-3 win over the Blue Jays on Sunday in the ninth inning with tightness in his right groin. Rodriguez was replaced at third base in the bottom of the ninth by Ramiro Pena.

"It was more the turf than anything else -- probably the 14 innings yesterday and the early game today," Rodriguez said after the game. "It's fine now. I'll be ready to go on Tuesday."

Rodriguez said he first felt the tightness before even taking the field and that it got "a little bit" worse as the game progressed. He added that his baserunning mistake in the second inning -- when he was thrown out trying to reach second base on a single that squirted off the hands of shortstop Alex Gonzalez into left field -- had "nothing to do with" the tightness.

In the top of the ninth inning, Rodriguez talked to manager Joe Girardi, who was ejected in the eighth, in the visitors' clubhouse. Girardi didn't want to risk anything with his third baseman.

"I just said, 'Get him out' -- we don't want him to pull something," Girardi said. "That's somewhat of a tough call because he was the leadoff man in the next inning, but we didn't plan on playing another inning."

If Rodriguez's spot in the order had come up in the ninth, Girardi said the third baseman would have still hit, but the Yankees would have used a pinch-runner if necessary. In the bottom of the ninth, Pena made an excellent defensive play, snagging an in-between hop off the bat of Vernon Wells. Girardi and Rodriguez shared a laugh in the clubhouse.

"We were joking about it," Rodriguez said. "I said, 'There would have gone my groin.'"

"I'm glad that we got him out and we protected him," said Girardi.

Rodriguez finished 1-for-4 on the day.

Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.