A-Rod has fourth 3-homer game, Yanks win (AP)

Aug 15th, 2010 | By sportsnews | Category: Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—It took Alex Rodriguez(notes) 47 pressure-laden at-bats to go
from career home run No. 599 to No. 600.

Going from 601 to 604 took five pitches.

“Sometimes milestones are a pain,” New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi
said Saturday night after watching A-Rod hit three homers in an 8-3 victory over
the Kansas City Royals.

Rodriguez drove in five runs, taking over the major league RBIs lead with
97. He picked on three different pitchers for his deep drives in the hot, humid
Midwestern air.

After striking out on three pitches from Sean O’Sullivan(notes) in his previous
at-bat, Rodriguez led off the sixth inning with a 412-foot shot against the
Royals starter.

Rodriguez added a two-run drive off Kanekoa Texeira(notes) in the seventh that
carried 419 feet and put the Yankees on top 6-3.

A-Rod connected in the ninth against Greg Holland(notes) for the most impressive
drive, a 439-foot shot that landed in the water fountains in left field.

“It was a lot of fun,” Rodriguez said. “Overall, I’ve been feeling pretty
good the last few days. I’ve had some pretty good sessions with Kevin Long, our
hitting coach.”

Rodriguez has 21 home runs this season and 604 lifetime. It was the 56th
multihomer game of his 16-year career.

In late July and early August, the baseball world waited game after game as
Rodriguez tried to become the seventh man and youngest player ever to crack the
600-homer milestone. Finally, on Aug. 4, he did it.

“The idea of being stuck at 599 was really a microcosm of what’s happened
all year,” he said. “I’ve been able to drive in some runs, hit some doubles
here and there, but overall not for power. The key is consistency in hitting the
ball hard.”

He sure did that.

“He was dead on today, that’s for sure,” said Royals manager Ned Yost. “I
don’t know which was more amazing—the ball to center or the ball to left there
in the fountain. He got a hold of both them.”

Phil Hughes(notes) (14-5) went six innings for the victory.

Several Yankees hit fly balls near the warning track against O’Sullivan
(1-4) before they finally broke through in the sixth.

Rodriguez homered, then Robinson Cano(notes) flied out deep. Jorge Posada(notes) and
Curtis Granderson(notes) followed with consecutive home runs, the fourth time the
Yankees have had back-to-back homers this year.

Rodriguez said at Long’s urging, he tweaked his swing to get his hips to
come through more fully, which seems to provide a power boost.

The home run off Texeira appeared to be on a pitch almost in the dirt.

“It’s the third or fourth time I’ve faced Texeira,” Rodriguez said. “He’s
got really good stuff. He’s got a heavy sinker, about 94 to 96. He was trying to
get me to hit a ground ball to third for a double play and I was trying to get
some elevation.”

“It was a sinker down and in,” said Texeira. “I’ve been feeding him
sinkers down and in since I first faced him. He’s sitting on it, and he hit

O’Sullivan insists his was a better delivery.

“I went back and looked at the tape, and it was a good pitch,” he said.
“Same thing with Posada’s—curveball, down and in. That’s a good team over

After Wilson Betemit(notes) homered leading off the Royals sixth, Kila Ka’aihue(notes) and
Alex Gordon(notes) singled and Yuniesky Betancourt(notes) lifted a lazy fly into left field
which Brett Gardner(notes) appeared to lose in the lights. The ball dropped at his feet
for a single, loading the bases with none out.

But the only run the Royals got was on Chris Getz’s(notes) weak grounder to first,
pulling Kansas City to 4-3.

O’Sullivan was facing the Yankees for the third time in 3 1/2 weeks, including
once with the Angels. He went 5 1-3 innings and allowed four runs on eight hits,
with two walks, five strikeouts and three home runs.

Every Yankee starter had at least one hit.

Betemit was 3 for 4 with a homer and two singles, including an RBI single in
the first.

The milestone 600th may have had Rodriguez pressing, Girardi said.

“You want to get through it so quickly, sometimes you forget what you need
to do. I’m not sure he did that, but since he’s gotten by 600, they’ve come a
little more rapidly.”

NOTES: Derek Jeter(notes) has gone 51 straight games at shortstop without an error.
He’s also hit safely in 13 of his last 16. … Yankees catcher prospect J.R.
Murphy had nine RBIs for Single-A Charleston in a game against Hickory on Friday
night. … In pregame ceremony, Royals honored the team that beat the Yankees
for the 1980 pennant.

Full Text RSS Feeds | WordPress Auto Translator

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.