A-Rod powers up after early slump

Alex Rodriguez had two home runs and 11 RBIs in his first four games against the Orioles.

Jorge Posada and Joe Girardi got back on the same page in Tuesday’s “must-win” in Tampa Bay. It was Alex Rodriguez, though, who turned the page in the 6-2 victory that snapped a six-game skid.

Rodriguez’s swing had been off before hitting two solo shots for his first multihomer game of 2011.

The third baseman had produced just 14 hits in 82 at-bats since his average rocketed to .370 to go along with a 1,309 OPS following the Bombers’ win in Baltimore April 23. He hit only one ball out of the park and went 11 games without an extra base hit in that span.

The slump may have been caused by a mechanical issue that made Rodriguez seem uneasy in the batter’s box. As he waited for pitches, A-Rod’s front leg twitched nervously, possibly ruining the timing that generates power from the legs.

“[Hitting coach] Kevin [Long] and I have been working over the last week or so to really focus on my bottom half,” Rodriguez told reporters Tuesday. “I’m just having some synergy with the whole body. Today was much better.”  

Another possible theory could be hip-related, though Rodriguez does not plan on using it as an excuse. Rodriguez had hip surgery two years ago and was encouraged by Long to get it checked out just to be safe. After some convincing, Girardi confirmed yesterday his slugger will see a doctor.

“It’s not an excuse for poor performance,” Rodriguez said before last night’s late game in Baltimore. “It has nothing to do with a bad feeling or aching or anything. I’ve been actually working my tail off with Kevin and feeling better each and every day. Finally yesterday I got a little result.”


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