The sight of Alex Rodriguez jogging the bases at Fenway Park slowed by a tight left hamstring and reduced to a glacial pace surprised Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

"I thought he could move better than that" Girardi said yesterday a few hours before Rodriguez was the designated hitter for the fourth day in a row in a 5-1 loss to the Red Sox.

Girardi acknowledged the possibility that Rodriguez may be kept out of the field for the majority of the games down the stretch. The team does not want to risk losing him and on Friday night Rodriguez sounded ominous about running. He explained his goal on the bases was not to "blow out."

So Rodriguez’s time at third base may be limited.

"We could do that" Girardi said. "You’d like to maybe give another guy a DH day once in a while too. But if that’s what we have to do it’s what we have to do."

With Rodriguez relegated to hitting Mark Reynolds and Eduardo Nunez could handle third base. Except neither is
a particularly reliable fielder.

The schedule eases up in the coming days. The Yankees will have two off-days during the final two weeks. Girardi said that could help the recovery of Rodriguez who went 0-for-3 yesterday with a walk.