Rodriguez Gets Mix of Cheers, Jeers in Home Debut as Yankees Win
The Yankees (58-56) blew a two-run lead in the ninth inning before winning 4-3 against the Detroit Tigers (68-46) on Brett Gardner’s run-scoring single in the 10th inning last night in a game that began after a 52-minute rain delay.
Rodriguez, 38, batted at Yankee Stadium for the first time this season with one on and two outs in the first to a mixture of boos and cheers, with about half the 46,545 fans giving him a standing ovation and some holding signs, “Welcome home, A-rod” and “We’re 100 percent behind you.”
As fans elevated the level of their boos and cheers, some began chanting “Let’s go A-rod” before he struck out on four pitches.
A three-time American League Most Valuable Player, Rodriguez is fifth on the Major League Baseball career list with 647 home runs.
Before the game, Rodriguez signed autographs on balls and hats and posed for pictures with fans on the field for about five minutes after he finished taking batting practice.
Rodriguez joined the active roster Aug. 5 after going through rehabilitation for hip surgery in January. It was the same day he was handed the ban through the 2014 season for his involvement with a now-shuttered clinic in Miami.
He went 0-for-4 last night, striking out in the first, third and eighth innings and flying to right in the seventh.
“His swing has been a little bit more explosive than I thought it might be,” manager Joe Girardi said before the game. “You never know how a guy’s going to react off the second hip surgery. He’s just missed a few balls, he’s squared up some balls, but I’m pleased with how his lower half is working.”
The Yankees had a 3-0 lead in the third inning as Gardner scored on Alfonso Soriano’s groundout in the first and Robinson Cano sent home Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki on a double in the third.
Miguel Cabrera hit a run-scoring single in the seventh and followed with a two-run homer in the ninth to tie the game at 3-3. Cabrera’s home run ball traveled 427 feet, the longest of 14 home runs allowed at home by Yankee reliever Mariano Rivera over the last eight seasons.
Shawn Kelley (4-1), the Yankees’ fifth pitcher, got one out for the win. Al Alburquerque (2-3) allowed one run on two hits and took the loss.
The Yankees are in fourth place in the American League East, 10 games behind the Boston Red Sox. The Tigers, who had their 12-game winning streak snapped, lead the AL Central, seven games in front of the Cleveland Indians.
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