Yanks bench A-Rod amid June swoon

Saturday, June 20, 2009

MIAMI -- Alex Rodriguez's homecoming will have to wait a little longer.

Following a tumultuous month at the plate, the slumping third baseman was benched Friday for two games by the New York Yankees for what he and the team called "fatigue."

The three-time AL MVP had been set to play his first regular-season games in his hometown of Miami against the Marlins.

Rodriguez said he had reserved about 100 tickets for family and friends, including his mother, and he wasn't looking forward to telling her that the only place she'll likely see him before Sunday is the bench.

"Have to tell her to save the gas money," Rodriguez said. "She's going to be disappointed."

Rodriguez is batting .145 (8-for-55) in June. He's in an 0-for-15 slump, and is hitting .212 with nine homers and 26 RBIs. He was replaced Friday by Angel Berroa.

Manager Joe Girardi said he, Rodriguez and general manager Brian Cashman met after Thursday night's 3-0 loss to the Washington Nationals, which included a 5 1/2-hour rain delay at the start. With Rodriguez's struggles, the delay and travel, the three agreed that the slugger would sit the next two games.

-- AP

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