ST. PETERSBURG -- All of the work that Sean Rodriguez has put in with Rays hitting coach Derek Shelton is finally paying off.
The utility infielder went 3-for-4 in Tuesday night's 7-4 win over the Yankees, hitting a two-run homer in the fourth inning that gave Tampa Bay a lead it would keep.
"Since 2010, we've been working on stuff," Rodriguez said of his time with Shelton. "You don't want to sum it up in the last couple days, but the last couple days is probably more focused on certain things."
As a team in June, Tampa Bay was hitting .222, a franchise-low average for a single month. Rodriguez contributed to the futility across 72 at-bats last month, batting .181 without a home run after hitting four in May, when he batted .258.
While Rodriguez had worked regularly with Shelton before, the slump prompted him to spend more time taking batting practice and to refine his swing and mentality.
"I don't want to give away too much, but positioning in the box, what my mindset is when I get in the box and what I'm looking for and where I'm looking for it," Rodriguez said of his adjustments. "Just consistently having either the same approach or the right approach."
Struck on triceps, Keppinger day to day
ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays third baseman Jeff Keppinger was removed from Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Yankees in the top of the third inning with a bruised left triceps muscle and is day to day.
Keppinger was hit by a David Phelps pitch on the left arm during the bottom of the first. He was examined by a trainer after the first inning but remained in the game until the third.
"He's sore," Rays manager Joe Maddon said after the game. "It's a little bit swollen up, but he's fine."
Brooks Conrad entered as Keppinger's replacement.
The USO Liberty Bells were on hand to sing the national anthem at Tropicana Field prior to the first pitch between the Yankees and Rays on the Fourth of July. That was followed by the ceremonial first pitch from Col. Lenny Richoux. Tampa Bay's mascot, Raymond, was also dressed in Uncle Sam attire.
Greg Zeck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.