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A-Rod hits two homers in 7th after MRI on right ankle

NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez tested his sore right ankle with
a few jogs in right field about an hour before game time, then ran
toward the dugout, up a runway and into the New York Yankees'
clubhouse.

"I've got to talk to the manager," he said, never stopping as
he went through the door.

A few minutes earlier, Joe Torre had said his limping slugger
likely would be limited to pinch-hitting duty Wednesday night. But
A-Rod talked his way back into the starting lineup against the
Seattle Mariners as the designated hitter after being sent downtown
for an MRI exam.

Then he put on quite a show.

Rodriguez homered twice in an eight-run seventh, becoming the
first Yankees player to connect two times in one inning since Cliff
Johnson on June 30, 1977, at Toronto. Detroit's Magglio Ordonez and
San Francisco's Bengie Molina also accomplished the feat this
season.

The two-time MVP tied the score at 2 with his first homer, a
leadoff shot against Jarrod Washburn. A-Rod's two-run drive with
two outs off Brandon Morrow made it 9-2 New York.

Rodriguez has 48 home runs this year and 512 in his career,
tying Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews for 17th place. His first homer
came less than a minute after the Yankees announced the MRI exam
revealed a sprain and a bruise.

A-Rod was injured in the seventh inning of Tuesday night's 12-3
victory when he slid into Adrian Beltre and the third baseman
toppled onto his right leg, rolling A-Rod's ankle. Rodriguez came
out at the end of the inning, and postgame X-rays were negative.

He already was in workout clothes when he was told to go for a
scan, and he was upset that he was forced to get the test.

"He didn't call us this morning saying it was a problem, but I
think when our trainers saw that he was limping a little bit, that
they alerted our doctor," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman
said. "I think he probably thinks it's a waste of time. He
self-diagnosed that he is fine."

Torre's original lineup -- posted three hours before the first
pitch -- had A-Rod at third base and batting cleanup, Jorge Posada
at DH and Wilson Betemit at first base. Just before A-Rod's jog,
Torre said he planned to move Betemit to third and have
Jason Giambi at first.

After Rodriguez spoke with Torre, the Yankees said A-Rod would
be the DH and Posada would be removed from the starting lineup for
a rest.

Rodriguez, who leads the majors with 134 RBIs, said the ankle
was more sore than on Tuesday night.

"I don't understand," he said before going for the scan. "I
thought I was ready to roll, but I've got to go downtown."