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A-Rod hits two homers in seventh, Yanks increase wild-card lead on Ms

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez limped his way into Yankee Stadium, then became angry when the team sent him to a hospital for tests on his sore right ankle.

Not only did he play Wednesday, he had a night befitting legends.

Rodriguez talked his way into the lineup and became the first Yankees player in 30 years to homer two times in one inning, connecting twice in an eight-run seventh to lead New York over Seattle 10-2. The Yankees opened a three-game lead in the AL wild-card race over the Mariners, who lost for the 11th time in 12 games.

"Kind of messed with my routine a little bit," Rodriguez said. "I wasn't very fired up about that."

His ankle banged up following a collision with Seattle third baseman Adrian Beltre on Tuesday, Rodriguez arrived at the ballpark at 2:30 p.m. and pronounced himself "ready to roll." Getting into a car and heading for a scan wasn't what he had in mind.

"We get any of us old folks in that MRI machine for an hour, who knows what the hell the thing is going to say," Rodriguez said. "I knew I felt good enough to play, and I came with the mind-set ready to play."

About an hour before game time, Yankees manager Joe Torre said A-Rod likely would be limited to pinch-hitting duty, and Rodriguez returned from the hospital thinking there was a 75 percent chance he wouldn't play. He said had it been early in the year, he would have sat out.

Still, he met with Torre in the manager's office.

"He said: 'Let me just go out and run and see,'" Torre said.

A-Rod then tested his ankle with a few jogs in right field while the Mariners were finishing batting practice. He ran in foul territory toward the dugout, up a runway and into the Yankees' clubhouse.

"I've got to talk to the manager," he said with a determined look.

Torre and the medical staff gathered with Rodriguez in the trainers' room for about 10-12 minutes.

"He wanted to look at me in the eyes and make sure that I wasn't lying to him and do something stupid or silly," Rodriguez said. "I told him I could give him some quality at-bats."

Sure could.

The two-time MVP walked and popped out in his first two plate appearances against Jarrod Washburn (9-13). Then, with the Yankees trailing 2-1, Rodriguez hit a 3-2 fastball into Monument Park in left-center leading off the seventh. Pinch-hitter Jorge Posada's bases-loaded walk off Sean Green put the Yankees ahead, and New York padded the margin on Johnny Damon's run-scoring grounder, Melky Cabrera's RBI single and Derek Jeter's two-run double.

Rodriguez then drove a 2-1 pitch from Brandon Morrow into the left-field seats for a two-run homer. He rounded the bases, received congratulations in the dugout and emerged for his second curtain call of the inning.

His first homer tied Mel Ott on the career list, and his second matched Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews for 17th place at 512. Rodriguez, who leads the majors with 48 homers and 134 RBI, had the 51st multihomer game of his career and became the first Yankees player to homer twice in an inning since Cliff Johnson on June 30, 1977, at Toronto. Detroit's Magglio Ordonez and San Francisco's Bengie Molina also accomplished the feat this season.

"I can't relate to it," Jeter said. "It's unbelievable. I haven't seen anything like it in all my years playing."

Rodriguez felt only 60 percent because of the ankle and his sore knee, and didn't think he could play the field for several days. His first home run came less than a minute after the Yankees announced the MRI exam revealed a sprain and a bruise.

"He didn't call us this morning saying it was a problem, but I think when our trainers saw that he was limping a little bit, that they alerted our doctor," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "I think he probably thinks it's a waste of time. He self-diagnosed that he is fine."

Joba Chamberlain (1-0) pitched a 1-2-3 seventh in relief of Phil Hughes, throwing 100 mph heat again to win in his first major league decision.

"Hopefully, there's many more to come," Chamberlain said.

Chamberlain hasn't allowed a run in 12 1/3 innings over 10 games -- the longest scoreless streak at the start of a Yankees career since Jim Bouton's 15 innings in 1962.

"We'll allow him to give up one next year," Torre said.

Washburn dropped to 1-7 with 5.32 ERA in 11 starts since All-Star break, allowing three runs -- two earned -- and three hits in six-plus innings. An error by Jose Lopez led to the big inning -- after Rodriguez's tying homer, the second baseman let Robinson Cano's grounder to bounce off him and into right field.

"We've played great ball," Washburn said. "You just play good ball and turn it around. We have the talent to do it."

Raul Ibanez's two-run homer put Seattle ahead in the third, and Jose Molina started New York's comeback with a home run in the bottom half. Seattle was hurt by two blown calls by umpires against Ichiro Suzuki.

Before Ibanez's homer, Suzuki was caught stealing second even though Jeter missed the tag. In the fifth, Suzuki was out at first on a grounder he appeared to beat out.

"We've got to get out of it," Mariners manager John McLaren said. "We'll see what we are made of."

Notes

  • Molina's previous homer was on Sept. 14 last year for the Los Angeles Angels.
  • For the second consecutive night, the Yankees' half of the seventh took 32 minutes.
  • Seattle pitcher Rick White was ejected in the eighth for arguing balls and strikes from the mound.
 
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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A-Rod's two homers tie him with Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews for 17th on the all-time list with 512.  (AP)
A-Rod's two homers tie him with Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews for 17th on the all-time list with 512. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

A. Rodriguez
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 3
New York

P. Hughes
IP 6.0
H 5
ER 2
BB 2
K 6
 
Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, CF4010000 .352
Jose Vidro, DH4000010 .310
Jose Guillen, RF3110010 .287
Raul Ibanez, LF3122110 .284
Adrian Beltre, 3B4000022 .278
Ben Broussard, 1B4010021 .290
Kenji Johjima, C2000101 .288
Jose Lopez, 2B3000012 .261
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS3000002 .284
Totals3025228  
Batting
2B - Ben Broussard (7, Hughes)
HR - Raul Ibanez (16, Hughes)
RBI - Raul Ibanez 2 (87)
2-OUT RBI - Raul Ibanez 2 (34)
CS - Ichiro Suzuki (4, 2nd base by Hughes/Molina)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Raul Ibanez 1
E - Jose Lopez 2 (7, Missed catch of throw)
Seattle Mariners
Jarrod Washburn (L,9-13) 6332142 4.32
George Sherrill 0.1022200 2.70
Sean Green0011100 3.70
Eric O'Flaherty 0.1111000 3.66
Brandon Morrow0222101 3.90
Rick White 0.2111000 7.79
John Parrish 0.2000100 5.77
WP - John Parrish (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Jarrod Washburn 94-59, George Sherrill 13-4, Sean Green 5-1, Eric O'Flaherty 3-3, Brandon Morrow 10-4, Rick White 13-8, John Parrish 13-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jarrod Washburn 6-9, George Sherrill 1-0, Eric O'Flaherty 1-0, Rick White 2-0, John Parrish 2-0
Batters Faced - Jarrod Washburn 23, George Sherrill 3, Sean Green 1, Eric O'Flaherty 2, Brandon Morrow 3, Rick White 3, John Parrish 3
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, LF4101011 .256
Melky Cabrera, CF5111012 .293
Derek Jeter, SS4112011 .320
    Alberto Gonzalez, SS0000000 .000
Alex Rodriguez, DH3223100 .312
Robinson Cano, 2B3100101 .301
Shelley Duncan, RF3000012 .259
    Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B0000000 .224
Jason Giambi, 1B2000101 .249
    Bobby Abreu, PR-RF1210000 .288
Wilson Betemit, 3B3100101 .224
Jose Molina, C2121000 .247
   a- Jorge Posada, PH-C0001200 .337
Totals30107964  
a-walked for Molina in the 7th
Batting
2B - Derek Jeter (32, Morrow), Bobby Abreu (28, White)
HR - Alex Rodriguez 2 (48, Washburn, Morrow), Jose Molina (1, Washburn)
SH - Johnny Damon (1), Shelley Duncan (1)
RBI - Johnny Damon (52), Melky Cabrera (62), Derek Jeter 2 (62), Alex Rodriguez 3 (134), Jose Molina (14), Jorge Posada (81)
2-OUT RBI - Melky Cabrera (25), Derek Jeter 2 (33), Alex Rodriguez 2 (64)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Shelley Duncan 1
DP - Cano-Gonzalez-Mientkiewicz
E - Wilson Betemit (7, Misplayed grounder)
New York Yankees
Phil Hughes 6522261 5.33
Joba Chamberlain (W,1-0) 1000000 0.00
Edwar Ramirez 1000010 6.59
Mariano Rivera 1000010 3.12
HBP - Guillen (by Phil Hughes)
Pitches-Strikes - Phil Hughes 97-61, Joba Chamberlain 11-7, Edwar Ramirez 13-9, Mariano Rivera 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Phil Hughes 6-4, Joba Chamberlain 1-2, Edwar Ramirez 2-0, Mariano Rivera 2-0
Batters Faced - Phil Hughes 24, Joba Chamberlain 3, Edwar Ramirez 3, Mariano Rivera 3
Game Information
Attendance - 52538
Game Time - 3:00
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Tony Randazzo, Second Base - Gerry Davis, Third Base - Greg Gibson