A-Rod playing despite bone bruise in knee

Slugger blasts team-leading 32nd homer in loss to Rays

A-Rod playing despite bone bruise in knee

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Yankees were concerned enough about Alex Rodriguez's left knee to send the slugger for a precautionary MRI on Tuesday morning, and though the examination revealed a deep bone bruise, any fears were calmed by his early home run in the team's 6-3 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field.

The 40-year-old Rodriguez crushed his team-leading 32nd homer in the first inning off Tampa Bay starter Jake Odorizzi, finishing 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored. Manager Joe Girardi said of Rodriguez, "He's fine."

Rodriguez was not available for comment after the game. The Yankees said that they believe Rodriguez sustained the injury while making a head-first slide into home plate during Sunday's game against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium.

Statcast: A-Rod's sprint home

The MRI was performed at Tampa Bay Imaging and Rodriguez was seen by team physician Dr. Daniel Murphy in Tampa, Fla., according to a team spokesperson.

Rodriguez ripped a game-tying, two-out RBI double in the ninth inning of Monday's 4-1 victory over the Rays and has eight homers against Tampa Bay this season.

A-Rod's game-tying double

Prior to Tuesday's game, Girardi said that resting during the recent Interleague series at Atlanta seemed to rejuvenate Rodriguez, and he will likely be out of the lineup for the Subway Series games against the Mets at Citi Field this weekend.

"You look at Alex's age, it probably helped him a lot," Girardi said. "It helped him to bounce back a little bit and feel fresh. He's hot right now and we want to keep him that way. He's probably going to get some days off this weekend and hopefully that will carry him through the rest of the year."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.