Rodriguez has not started the last two games for New York (76-50) due to a throat infection. He has a fever he said was as high as 101 degrees and has been eating liquid foods and taking antibiotics the last two days.
After the third baseman spent Wednesday night at Seattle in the hotel, he mustered up the strength to rejoin the club Thursday and took a few swings on the field before he struck out as a pinch-hitter for the final out of a 4-2 loss.
“Probably tomorrow,” Rodriguez said in a scratchy, tired voice when asked when he would return to the lineup.
Rodriguez had a stomach virus that caused him to miss games June 2 and 3 at Baltimore, the only other times he has sat out this season.
Rodriguez has played well against Los Angeles this year, hitting .346 (9-for-26) with three homers and five RBIs.
The Angels (67-61) are 4-3 against the Yankees this season and are seeking to capture the season series for the third straight year. They’re 53-51 against New York since the start of the 1996 season—the only team with a winning record against the Yankees during manager Joe Torre’s tenure.
Los Angeles has also eliminated New York from the playoffs twice in four years, including a five-game victory in the division series last season.
Angels starter John Lackey (10-9, 3.92 ERA) has struggled in his career against the Yankees, going 3-6 with a 5.74 ERA in nine regular-season starts. He lost at New York on Aug. 14 after giving up three runs and 11 hits over seven innings in a 7-2 defeat.
The right-hander is 0-3 with a 7.36 ERA over his last four starts. Opponents are hitting .332 against him over his last eight outings after batting .195 in his first 18.
Lackey is 5-4 with a 4.28 ERA in 14 starts at home.
Rodriguez is 8-for-31 with 12 strikeouts in his career against Lackey.
New York is 5 1/2 games ahead of second-place Boston in the AL East race. The Yankees fell to 6-2 on their 11-game road trip with Thursday’s loss.
Los Angeles dropped 5 1/2 games behind first-place Oakland in the AL West after a 2-1 defeat to the Red Sox on Thursday. The Angels have lost two straight following a seven-game home winning streak.
Angels slugger Vladimir Guerrero is 17-for-41 with 10 RBIs during an 11-game hitting streak.
Jaret Wright (9-7, 4.63) returns to the rotation when he takes the mound for New York. Wright hasn’t started since Aug. 17, although he’s made a pair of appearances out of the bullpen since that outing.
The right-hander is 4-1 with a 3.78 ERA in 10 road starts this year. This is his first start at Anaheim—his birthplace—since May 19, 2001, while pitching for Cleveland.
Wright is 2-2 with a 7.60 ERA in seven career starts against the Angels. He beat them on Aug. 12 at Yankee Stadium, allowing one run and two hits over 5 1-3 innings in a 5-2 victory.