Alex Rodriguez hit two home runs to help the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2 and end a six-game losing streak.
Rodriguez took his home-run tally to eight this year with his 59th multi-homer game and first this year. It was the second time since April 23 he had more than one hit. With 621 career home runs, Rodriguez needs 10 more to move past Ken Griffey into fifth place in Major League Baseball’s all-time list.
The result ended the Yankees’ longest losing streak since they dropped seven in a row from April 20-27, 2007. The skid began with back-to-back losses to the Kansas City Royals. The Yankees then lost 3-0 at home to the Boston Red Sox for the first time in seven years before a 6-5 defeat to Tampa Bay two days ago.
The win lifts the Yankees to 21-19, two games behind the Rays, who lead the American League East Division standings with a 24-18 record.
Elliot Johnson gave the Rays the lead with a home run in the third inning last night at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Rodriguez then made it 2-1 to the Yankees with homers in the fourth and sixth innings.
In the seventh, Chris Dickerson hit a one-run single and Brett Gardner scored on a throwing error by second baseman Ben Zobrist to make it 4-1.
Gardner hit another run-scoring single in the ninth and scored on Derek Jeter’s infield single to give the Yankees a 6-1 advantage.
Tampa Bay rounded out the scoring in the ninth when Zobrist scored Sean Rodriguez on a ground-rule double.
Yankees starter Ivan Nova (4-3) gave up four hits and one run while striking out four in 5 1/3 innings. James Shields (4-2), got the loss, allowing eight hits and four runs in seven innings.