BOSTON -- The Yankees cleared a locker for Mark Reynolds this weekend at Fenway Park, but the fact that they may not ask the corner infielder to play much third base can be considered a reflection of how well Alex Rodriguez has been handling the position.
All but two of Rodriguez's 11 starts since returning from the disabled list have come at third base, including Saturday's game, and manager Joe Girardi said that he has been pleased at how much Rodriguez has been able to play the field.
"I've kept in contact with him," Girardi said. "I didn't ask him today, but I felt that he was OK and he usually texts me if he thinks he needs a DH day. I think he talked a little bit about being fresh because he doesn't have a lot of games under his belt, and we need him to stay that way. I'll continue to talk to him."
Rodriguez entered play on Saturday batting .300 (12-for-40) with two doubles, a home run and four RBIs, and he said he'll probably need a little more time to feel comfortable.
"It's not there yet, but I think little by little it's getting there," Rodriguez said. "It's going to take me about 50 or 60 at-bats, there's no question about it, but I just want to make sure that I do the best I can to help the team win."
Girardi said that he has already seen enough to know Rodriguez can help this lineup.
"We've seen him drive the ball," Girardi said. "We've seen him hit hard line drives. The bat speed is definitely there."
Soriano's four-game output among all-time best
BOSTON -- Alfonso Soriano chuckled as a pack of reporters approached his locker in the cramped Fenway Park visiting clubhouse on Friday evening, eager to discuss the continuation of a historic hot streak.
"Every night, huh? Every day," Soriano said, with a broad smile. "I'll take it."
Soriano's torrid stretch continued into Boston, where he went 3-for-4 with a three-run homer and two runs scored in the Yankees' 10-3 win over the Red Sox.
Teammate Alex Rodriguez remarked that it has looked like Soriano is "playing slow-pitch softball" over four games prior to Saturday, collecting 18 RBIs against Angels and Red Sox pitching during the span.
"It's fun. When we start winning, we start having fun," Soriano said. "This game is all about winning. When we're winning, we're having fun."
Soriano is one of six players in Major League history to tally 18 RBIs in a four-game stretch, four of whom did it for the Yankees, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
His select group includes the Cardinals' Jim Bottomley (July 6-9, 1929), Lou Gehrig (July 29-31, 1930), Tony Lazzeri (May 21-24, 1936), Joe DiMaggio (Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 1939) and the Cubs' Sammy Sosa (Aug. 8-11, 2002).
Soriano also has at least three hits in his last four games entering play on Saturday, becoming the first Yankee to do so since Johnny Damon did it from Aug. 17-19, 2006.
"He's got a chance to do some damage," manager Joe Girardi said. "That's the guy he's been his whole career, since the day we saw him. He's got a lot of power and he has the ability to change games."
The impressive streak has also shaken up the Yankees' season leaderboard. Soriano entered play Saturday tied for fifth on the Yankees with eight homers and ranked seventh with 26 RBIs, despite having just 75 at-bats with the club after being acquired from the Cubs on July 26.
Having recently recorded his 2,000th hit, Soriano is also eyeing another milestone; he needs three homers to reach 400 for his career.
"It's nice. I don't consider myself a power hitter, but I'm close to 400," Soriano said. "I like to hit line drives. I think I've been blessed with my hands. God gave me quick hands. I've put everything together to try to get better. That's what I try to do every day."
• With a wealth of outfielders to work into the lineup, Girardi said that he has liked how Curtis Granderson looks in the designated hitter role, plugging Granderson in there again on Saturday.
"He seemed to do a pretty good job with it," Girardi said. "We've moved him all around, and that's a transition for him, but he's seemed to do a pretty good job doing it."
• Eduardo Nunez committed two errors in Friday's game against the Red Sox, giving him 10 for the season, but Girardi said that he believes Nunez has been able to bounce back better from defensive miscues of late.
"I'll keep an eye on him, but I think he's done better at turning the page this year," Girardi said.
• On this date in 1976, Graig Nettles homered on the first pitch he saw from Tommy Boggs in the bottom of the ninth to give the Yankees a 2-1 walk-off win over the Rangers.