July 25, 2012 12:00 AM
" It is Alex Rodriguez's 37th birthday on Friday and Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez decided to get the former Mariner a gift.
Unfortunately, the gift isn't returnable. It's a broken bone in the left hand, which came when Hernandez hit A-Rod with a pitch in the eighth inning of Tuesday night's 4-2 Mariners victory.
The injury will keep Rodriguez out of the lineup for at least a month, a loss that is doubly painful because it comes at the exact moment that A-Rod seemed to be shaking off his year-long aversion to hitting anything like the A-Rod of old. He has 15 hits in his last 43 at bats, including six of the 30 extra base hits he's managed all season.
Even the outs Rodriguez was making recently were on hard hit balls, a sign that his timing and approach were on point after months of his swing being slightly off here and there. Barring a serious change to his diagnosis, he should return with enough time to play off any rust but there's no guarantee that he'll be able to hold onto the recent productivity "
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