At the beginning of the season, Alex Rodriguez said he was more worried about staying healthy for a full year than his shrinking statistics.
Felix Hernandez made sure that wouldn't be the case.
Rodriguez was hit by a pitch on the left hand in the eighth inning and fractured his fifth metacarpal -- the pinky finger. The good news is it is a non-displaced fracture, but the third baseman is still headed to the 15-day DL. The Yankees are unsure for just how long.
"It's a tough blow," Rodriguez told reporters after the game. "I never thought it was a fracture, but it was."
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The hit by pitch was one of three by Hernandez in the seventh and eighth innings. He had hit Ichiro Suzuki in the seventh and Derek Jeter in the eighth. Rodriguez was the final batter he faced. The Yankees lost, 4-2, and Hernandez took the win.
"It's non-displaced, which is good," manager Joe Girardi said. "But we're going to have to make some changes, which is too bad, because Alex was just starting to feel good again."
Rodriguez had hit a deep homer Monday night and was batting .319 with two home runs, four doubles, six RBI and eight runs scored since the All-Star break.
Rodriguez played in just 99 games last season, dealing with a knee injury that required surgery. He had been healthy in 2012, but his numbers are now remarkably similar to what they were one year ago. He's played in 93 games with a .274 average, 15 home runs and 44 RBI. Last year, in those 99 games, he batted .276 with 16 homers.
Eric Chavez, who will likely get the bulk of the playing time at third in Rodriguez's absence, had the same injury in June 2004 and said it took eight weeks to heal. That would mean a late September return for Rodriguez, with season almost over.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.