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MLB: Rodriguez tests hip

Associated Press
DUNEDIN, Fla. ó Alex Rodriguez slid for the first time since hip surgery, going 1-for-5 with a walk Wednesday in a New York Yankees extended spring training game.
Rodriguez said he doesn’t know if he’ll rejoin the Yankees on Friday in Baltimore, but manager Joe Girardi sounded optimistic that the three-time AL MVP will be back.
“People are asking if it’s Friday,” Girardi said Wednesday, before the Yankees opened a two-game series against Tampa Bay. “I’m not going to say 100 percent he’s not going to be here ó or he is going to be here.”
A-Rod singled up the middle as a designated hitte. In the third inning he walked and slid into second on an inning-ending infield grounder.
“The slide was good. No problems,” he said. “I feel good.”
TIGERS
PAWTUCKET, R.I. ó Dontrelle Willis took a step in his recovery from anxiety disorder, pitching into the eighth inning and allowing two runs for Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday night.
Willis gave up five hits ó including a homer ó walked four and struck out four in 72/3 innings against the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Willis spent much of last season in the minors, rehabbing a right knee injury and trying to deal with control problems. He continued to have problems getting the ball over the plate during spring training.
METS
NEW YORK ó Mets pitcher Oliver Perez, a major bust so far this season, is headed to the disabled list because of tendinitis in his right knee.
Perez returned to New York as a free agent for a $36 million, three-year contract, then was dropped from the rotation after going 1-2 with a 9.97 ERA in five starts. He had an MRI that revealed patellar tendinitis, which causes pain in the kneecap.
“Sometimes I was thinking about it and I wasn’t comfortable on the mound. But that’s no excuse,” Perez said after New York’s 1-0 win over Philadelphia. “I just want to get healthy and come back.”
Left-hander Jonathon Niese will be recalled from Triple-A Buffalo to start Friday night against Pittsburgh, keeping 40-year-old rookie Ken Takahashi in the bullpen.
ASTROS
HOUSTON ó Aaron Boone returned to the ballpark for the first time since open heart surgery, still waiting to decide whether he’ll resume his playing career.
“You want to see my scar?” the Houston Astros infielder said, greeting reporters. He lifted his T-shirt to reveal a thin, bright pink line that ran from the middle of his chest up to his collarbone.The 36-year-old Boone had surgery March 26 to replace a bicuspid aortic valve. He was diagnosed with a congenital defect in his heart where the valve has two ó not the normal three ó cusps to manage blood flow.
CARDINALS
ST. LOUIS ó Rick Ankiel remained out of the Slineup Wednesday, two days after crashing headfirst into the center-field wall while making a running catch.

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