With fans in Chicago booing his every step, Alex Rodriguez dropped a single into shallow left field in his first at-bat of the 2013 season.
Batting cleanup and playing third base for the Yankees against the White Sox just hours after MLB announced that he was facing a 211-game suspension, A-Rod led off the top of the second inning on Monday night. Fans at U.S. Cellular Field showered him with jeers as he dug into the batter's box and then as he ran to first base. The three-time American League MVP swung at the third offering from White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana. Although he was jammed by the 2-0 slider, Rodriguez still managed a soft single that bounced just ahead of a charging outfielder Casper Wells.
In a matchup befitting a day that included 13 MLB suspensions for use of performance-enhancing drugs, Rodriguez faced Quintana in his first at-bat. The 24-year-old left-hander missed the entire 2007 season while in the New York Mets' farm system due to a drug-related suspension, according to Baseball-Reference.
In a sign that may indicate Rodriguez has recovered from offseason hip surgery, he went from first to third on a double by Vernon Wells. Rodriguez would ultimately be stranded at third as Curtis Granderson, Ichiro Suzuki and Eduardo Nunez failed to bring him home.
WATCH VIDEO OF A-ROD'S HIT ABOVE
Rodriguez will remain eligible to play until an arbitrator hears his appeal of the lengthy suspension levied against him by Major League Baseball.
"I want to express to you guys and the fans of baseball that the last seven months have been a nightmare. It's probably been the worst time of my life, for sure. Obviously for the circumstances that are at hand but also dealing with a very tough surgery and a rehab program and being 38," Rodriguez told reporters during a pre-game press conference. "I am thrilled and humbled to have the opportunity to put on this uniform again and to play Major League Baseball again."
UPDATE 12:01 A.M ET: Rodriguez would not reach base again after his single in the second. After flying out in his second and third trips to the plate, A-Rod struck out in the eighth. Without much production coming from Rodriguez's teammates either, the Yankees lost 8-1 to the White Sox.
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