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Girardi slides A-Rod up to No. 2 in batting order

MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- Alex Rodriguez occupied a new place in the Yankees' lineup on Monday, as manager Joe Girardi tried a different look by slotting Rodriguez second in the lineup against Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman.

"He's done a really good job of getting on base against right-handers and swinging the bat well against right-handers," Girardi said. "I'm trying to break up our left-handed hitters."

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BALTIMORE -- Alex Rodriguez occupied a new place in the Yankees' lineup on Monday, as manager Joe Girardi tried a different look by slotting Rodriguez second in the lineup against Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman.

"He's done a really good job of getting on base against right-handers and swinging the bat well against right-handers," Girardi said. "I'm trying to break up our left-handed hitters."

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Rodriguez made good on Girardi's decision in his first at-bat, homering off Tillman to give the Yankees an early 1-0 lead. He went hitless in his other two at-bats, striking out once in the Yankees' 4-2 loss.

Girardi said that since Alfonso Soriano has been productive hitting behind Robinson Cano, he wanted to keep that alignment intact. Cano hit third on Monday, followed by Soriano in the cleanup spot.

Rodriguez had started 497 previous big league games in the No. 2 spot, but it is something he has done only 50 times as a Yankee and not since Aug. 26, 2006, when Joe Torre tried him there in a 12-7 loss to the Angels.

"He was fine [with the decision]," Girardi said before the game. "Whatever I want."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

New York Yankees, Alex Rodriguez