Alex Rodriguez hit his 23rd career grand slam to tie Lou Gehrig’s Major League Baseball record as the New York Yankees beat the Atlanta Braves 6-4.
With the Yankees trailing 4-0 and one out in the eighth inning, Rodriguez hit a full-count pitch by Jonny Venters to left field at Turner Field in Atlanta last night to wipe out the Braves’ lead. Rodriguez came to the plate after Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson singled and Mark Teixeira walked.
Robinson Cano then singled before Nick Swisher hit a two-run homer off Cory Gearrin to complete a six-run inning for the Yankees.
It was Rodriguez’s 10th home run this year and his first grand slam of the season. The Yankees’ fifth straight win and their 10th in 12 games gives them sole possession of first place in the American League East division with a 36-25 record, the best in the AL.
The Yankees fell behind in the first inning on a three-run double by Matt Diaz off CC Sabathia (8-3), who got the win after allowing four runs on 10 hits in seven innings. The Braves’ other run came on a run-scoring groundout by Jason Heyward in the seventh inning.
Rafael Soriano, who pitched in Atlanta from 2007-09, got three outs in the ninth to record his 10th save in 11 chances this season.
Granderson leads the Yankees with 18 home runs, while Cano and Teixeira have 11 each. Raul Ibanez also has 10. Rodriguez now has 639 home runs, 21 behind Willie Mays for fourth on the career list.
Venters (3-3) took the loss, the third straight defeat for the Braves (34-28). The New York Mets defeated Tampa Bay 11-2 to leave the Rays (35-26) tied with Baltimore a game behind the Yankees in second place in the AL East.
The Mets (33-29) are one game behind the Braves in third place in the National League East. The Washington Nationals lead the division with a 37-23 record after beating the host Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 last night.