NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Alex Rodriguez was shifted to designated hitter for Game 3 of the Yankees’ AL division series against Baltimore but kept his No. 3 slot in the batting order.

Eric Chavez took over at third base for Wednesday night’s game and hit ninth, where DHs Eduardo Nunez hit in Game 2 and Raul Ibanez in the opener. There had been some calls for manager Joe Girardi to drop down A-Rod, 1 for 9 with five strikeouts as the teams split the first two games of the best-of-five series.

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Girardi didn’t want to tinker with something that worked during the team’s stretch run.

“I trust our guys,” he said Wednesday. “I’m with them every day. I’m with their approach every day, and it’s important that they trust me. The other thing is we played playoff baseball the whole month of September and the first three days of October, and Alex hit third.”

“We won a lot of games with a lineup that we kept consistent and guys knew where they were at every day,” Girardi added, “and I think there’s something to be said for that.”

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The rest of New York’s batting order was unchanged against right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, with shortstop Derek Jeter leading off, following by left fielder Ichiro Suzuki, Rodriguez, second baseman Robinson Cano, right fielder Nick Swisher, first baseman Mark Teixeira, center fielder Curtis Granderson, catcher Russell Martin and Chavez.

Right-hander Hiroki Kuroda will start against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium.

Big mistake or good call by Joe? Be heard in the comments below…

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