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L.A. Angels002010001483
N.Y. Yankees «30250200x12120

A-Rod explodes for Yanks with three homers, 10 RBI

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez's teammates made him wait until the fans worked themselves into a frenzy worthy of a three-homer night. They clapped to the music and chanted "A-Rod! A-Rod!" until he finally stepped onto the top step of the dugout and raised both hands over his head.

Rodriguez's biggest night with the New York Yankees was over a year in the making, and everybody at Yankee Stadium was in a celebratory mood.

Rodriguez hit three home runs in his first three at-bats and became only the 11th major league player with 10 or more RBI in a game, leading New York over the Los Angeles Angels 12-4 Tuesday night.

"Definitely tonight was one of those magical nights," Rodriguez said. "I've hit three home runs twice before, but nothing feels as special as this, doing it in New York, doing it in the pinstripes."

The marquee matchup might have been across town at Shea Stadium, where the Mets' Pedro Martinez lost to Atlanta's John Smoltz, but it was A-Rod who put on the biggest show in New York.

Each of his home runs came with two outs against Bartolo Colon (3-2) in the first four innings and drew rousing ovations from the Yankees' fans, who have been reluctant to embrace the $252 million star since he was acquired before the 2004 season.

"He hasn't lived up to what he's capable of doing," manager Joe Torre said. "I think this is why it takes time. When he does something like this, he wants to duplicate it. Sometimes he expects too much of himself."

He added a run-scoring single in the sixth off Kevin Gregg and finished one RBI shy of the AL record of 11 set by the Yankees' Tony Lazzeri in 1936. The major league record of 12 is shared by the St. Louis Cardinals' Jim Bottomley (1924) and Mark Whiten (1993).

Nomar Garciaparra had been the last player with 10 RBI in a game, accomplishing the feat for Boston against Seattle on May 10, 1999.

"Right after I hit that last base hit up the middle, it felt like I was in the clouds -- you just don't want it to end," said Rodriguez, the first player to have 10 RBI in a game at Yankee Stadium.

Rodriguez hit the 11th grand slam of his career in the fourth inning after hitting a three-run shot in the first and a two-run homer in the third, all two-out drives. Coming in, he had been 2-for-13 (.154) this year with runners in scoring position and two outs.

"I never really find Bartolo Colon very hittable," said Rodriguez, who increased his RBI total to 25 and is tied with Boston's Manny Ramirez and Baltimore's Miguel Tejada for the major league lead.

His homer in the first, which followed two walks, landed over the 399-foot marker in left-center. When his long fly in the third landed in the Angels' bullpen in left field, the crowd of 36,328 stood and cheered until Rodriguez appeared out of the dugout one pitch into the next at-bat.

The fans stood throughout his at-bat in the fourth and camera strobes flashed. Torre said "everybody in the dugout became a fan."

Rodriguez worked the count to 3-2 and fouled off several pitches before hitting a drive off the front of the center-field bleachers, just beyond the 408-foot sign.

"It was a fun matchup, bases loaded, the fans going crazy," Rodriguez said.

While Rodriguez walked to the plate in the eighth inning for his final at-bat, Strauss' "Also sprach Zarathustra," played dramatically over the public address system. Rodriguez hit a hard liner to center and was again greeted with loud applause from the fans, who then began a quick run for the exits with a 12-3 lead. Rodriguez was given the ninth inning off.

Rodriguez's performance overshadowed Carl Pavano's first win in pinstripes. He pitched effectively for seven innings, often falling behind in the count but only getting into real trouble against a potent Angels lineup in the third when he walked two and gave up an RBI single to Vladimir Guerrero and run-scoring grounder to Garret Anderson.

Pavano (2-2), whose previous victory was at Toronto last week, gave up three runs and seven hits.

"When there's runs on the board or not, I've got to make my pitches and stick to my plan," said Pavano, who was disappointed by two walks he gave up in the third.

Colon had allowed just one run in 15 innings over two starts. Each of Rodriguez's home runs followed bouts of wildness; Colon walked five in 3 2/3 innings and gave up 10 runs -- five earned. Giving up the longball has always been a problem for Colon, but he had allowed just one in 27 2/3 innings through his first four starts this season.

"I made mistakes," Colon said. "As good a hitter as he is, he took advantage of those mistakes. He was not chasing. He was sitting on my fastball very well."

Bernie Williams had an RBI grounder on one of Chone Figgins' two errors in the fourth and Jorge Posada added an RBI groundout for New York.

Notes

  • Rodriguez now has 388 homers, good for 46th place.
  • After stealing two bases Tuesday, the Angels have 11 stolen bases in last five games.
  • The Mets-Braves game drew 31,511.
  • Colter Bean made his major league debut in relief of Pavano.
  • Rodriguez hit two home runs and had six RBI on April 18.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Alex Rodriguez starts his trot after ripping his 11th career grand slam in the fourth inning. (AP)
Alex Rodriguez starts his trot after ripping his 11th career grand slam in the fourth inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

A. Rodriguez
AB 5
R 3
H 4
HR 3
RBI 10
New York

C. Pavano
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 3
BB 2
K 2
 
Los Angeles Angels
Darin Erstad, 1B3210110 .276
    Lou Merloni, 1B1000012 .000
Chone Figgins, 2B4031100 .276
Vladimir Guerrero, RF4022001 .354
   a- Josh Paul, PH1000012 .077
Garret Anderson, LF3001002 .280
    Juan Rivera, RF1000000 .267
Steve Finley, CF3000003 .169
    Robb Quinlan, LF1000000 .148
Orlando Cabrera, SS4000000 .260
Dallas McPherson, 3B3110100 .182
Jose Molina, C3000111 .238
Jeff DaVanon, DH-CF4110001 .222
Totals354844412 
a-struck out for Woods in the 9th
Batting
2B - Chone Figgins (4, Pavano), Dallas McPherson (2, Pavano)
RBI - Chone Figgins (11), Vladimir Guerrero 2 (17), Garret Anderson (15)
2-OUT RBI - Chone Figgins (4)
SB - Dallas McPherson (1, 3rd base off Pavano/Posada), Jeff DaVanon (4, 2nd base off Pavano/Posada)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Cabrera-Figgins-Erstad
E - Chone Figgins 2 (3, wild throw), Dallas McPherson (2, )
Los Angeles Angels
Bartolo Colon (L,3-2) 3.25105533 3.73
Kevin Gregg 3.1622220 7.43
Jake Woods 1100000 2.25
Pitches-Strikes - Bartolo Colon 101-59, Kevin Gregg 60-37, Jake Woods 11-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bartolo Colon 3-7, Kevin Gregg 4-3, Jake Woods 1-2
Batters Faced - Bartolo Colon 23, Kevin Gregg 17, Jake Woods 4
New York Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS4210123 .355
Bernie Williams, CF5211002 .254
    Bubba Crosby, PR-CF0000000 .182
Gary Sheffield, RF4110102 .321
Hideki Matsui, LF2300303 .289
Alex Rodriguez, 3B53410000 .310
    Rey Sanchez, 3B0000000 .400
Jason Giambi, DH3010210 .224
Jorge Posada, C5001012 .265
Andy Phillips, 1B5110013 .273
Tony Womack, 2B4030001 .279
Totals371212127516 
Batting
2B - Andy Phillips (2, Gregg), Tony Womack (4, Colon)
HR - Alex Rodriguez 3 (7, Colon, Colon, Colon)
RBI - Bernie Williams (7), Alex Rodriguez 10 (25), Jorge Posada (10)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Rodriguez 9 (12)
Team LOB - 8
New York Yankees
Carl Pavano (W,2-2) 7733220 3.10
Colter Bean 2111220 4.50
Pitches-Strikes - Carl Pavano 99-61, Colter Bean 45-27
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carl Pavano 12-7, Colter Bean 2-2
Batters Faced - Carl Pavano 30, Colter Bean 9
Game Information
Attendance - 36328
Game Time - 3:02
Temperature - 56
Umpires - Home - Tom Hallion, First Base - Mark Carlson, Second Base - Joe West, Third Base - Brian Gorman