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ARod Heads To Triple-A

New York — Alex Rodriguez is going to join Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Friday, likely the final stop in his rehabilitation from left hip surgery before he returns to the New York Yankees as early as Monday.

Rodriguez is 5 for 28 with six strikeouts in his rehab that began July 2 with Class-A Charleston. He hit his first homer on Monday for Double-A Trenton.

A-Rod’s 20-day rehab limit ends Sunday and he told a New York radio station Wednesday he expects to be in the Yankees lineup Monday at Texas.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told ESPN New York that Rodriguez could be activated Monday or Tuesday, after a day off. If the team decides the third baseman is not ready for major league games, he has to go back on the disabled list.

Rodriguez hasn’t played for the Yankees since a dreadful postseason. He had surgery in January.

Cuban Player Defects

Des Moines, Iowa — Cuban pitcher Misael Siverio told a Spanish-language newspaper he has defected to the United States and is going to try to make it to the major leagues. Siverio was part of the Cuban national team that traveled to Iowa for an exhibition game against a collegiate all-star team from the U.S. But he apparently left the delegation at some point after it arrived in Des Moines on Tuesday afternoon.

“Leaving behind your country is not easy, but this was a decision that I gave a lot of thought,” Siverio told El Nuevo Herald in Miami. “Of course, my dream is to play in the majors, and from now on I will start taking the first steps to make it happen.”

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida also welcomed the 24-year-old Siverio to the U.S. in a post on her Twitter account on Wednesday.

The Cubans are in Iowa to play a team of American college stars in the opener of a five-game set spanning three cities.

The set starts tonight in Des Moines at the home of the Triple-A Iowa Cubs.

The games between the U.S. and Cuba will mark the first extended series between the countries in American ballparks since 1996.