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A-Rod (thumb) back in Yankee lineup after six-game absence wire reports

TORONTO -- Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez returned to the lineup Saturday after missing six games with a sprained left thumb.

Rodriguez batted fifth and started at third base against the Blue Jays, his first appearance since Sept. 9 at Seattle.

Rodriguez, who is batting .284 with 15 homers and 56 RBI, will hit with a half-inch strip of tape on the handle of his bat. The tape, which Rodriguez used during batting practice Friday, acts as a pad between his hands, relieving pain and pressure on his thumb.

A 14-time All-Star and three-time AL MVP, Rodriguez has been limited to 90 games. He had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in July, which sidelined him for 38 games.

The 36-year-old Rodriguez is two home runs shy of Ken Griffey Jr. for fifth place on the career list.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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