|N.Y. Yankees (23-12) «||0||0||0||2||1||0||4||1||x||8||14||1|
Yup, Guerrier came in.
And the ball went out.
Rodriguez hit his 19th career grand slam, moving past Frank Robinson into sole possession of seventh place with his 587th home run and powering the New York Yankees over the Minnesota Twins 8-4 Friday night.
"That's why I hit fourth," A-Rod said. "My team is expecting me to get big hits in those type of situations."
He was so excited as the ball went over the left-field wall that he nearly carried his bat all the way to first base. He then raised a fist in triumph after the drive gave the Yankees a 7-4 lead.
"We're always aware of the numbers," Gardenhire said. "I know he has been good against Matty. Sometimes you can't do anything about the numbers. We're going to go with our best pitcher at the time."
Rodriguez tied Eddie Murray for third in career slams, trailing only Lou Gehrig (23) and Manny Ramirez (21). He didn't want to make too much of his success against Guerrier.
"To face a guy only seven times is not a lot of history," said A-Rod, who first faced Guerrier in July 2005.
On Guerrier's first pitch, Rodriguez grounded a ball foul down the third-base line. Gardenhire had been hoping for an inning-ending double play.
"I'm trying to get a groundball," Guerrier said. "I did it on the first pitch and then left one over the plate. I know he's got good numbers against me, so I said, `It's my time to get him out."'
"I felt like it was an out," Guerrier said, "but you put backspin on the ball and hit it that high, and it's going to go away."
It was just the 15th time in Rodriguez's career a batter was intentionally walked to load the bases for him, according to STATS LLC. The last six occasions have been walks to Teixeira -- including one by Tampa Bay's Andy Sonnanstine last Oct. 4, when Rodriguez had two homers and seven RBI in the sixth inning to keep alive his streaks of 30-homer and 100-RBI seasons.
Rodriguez is 4 for 4 with two homers and 14 RBI following international walks to Teixeira, according to STATS LLC.
"Whenever you can load the bases and try to get a groundball, righty on righty, it really doesn't matter who's hitting," said Teixeira, who understood Gardenhire's decision.
New York overcame a seventh-inning deficit against Scott Baker and has won 24 of 27 regular-season home games against Minnesota dating to 2002, including nine in a row.
Brett Gardner homered into the right-field bleachers in the fourth inning and slid home to score from first on Teixeira's fifth-inning double.
Joe Mauer hit an opposite-field drive to left for his first home run since April 6, then singled in the tying run in the seventh inning and scored on Justin Morneau's double off an ineffective Damaso Marte as Minnesota rallied from 3-2 down.
Joba Chamberlain (1-1) struck out the side in the eighth. He said it was important to shut down the Twins there, using a strange phrase even Yogi Berra never thought of.
"You don't want to sleep a waking dog," Chamberlain said.
A.J. Burnett settled down after a wild opening two innings, when he threw just 17 of 39 pitches for strikes. He wound up allowing three runs -- two earned -- seven hits and four walks in 6 2/3 innings. Baker gave up five runs and 10 hits in six-plus innings, struck out nine and walked none.
With New York trailing 4-3, Cervelli legged out an infield hit leading off the seventh against Baker, beating second baseman Orlando Hudson's throw. Derek Jeter, in a 1-for-23 slide, lined a pitch off Baker's right leg and wound up with a double when the ball ricocheted into right field.
Duensing relieved, and Gardner lined to left. The came Gardenhire's big decision. And A-Rod's big homer.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi had pulled out his binder and was aware of the numbers. He followed Gardenhire's logic.
"You draw things up," Girardi said, "and sometimes they just don't work."Notes
|Alex Rodriquez punishes the Twins for an intentional walk by hitting his 19th career grand slam. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Denard Span, CF||5||1||1||0||0||1||1||.275|
|Orlando Hudson, 2B||5||0||1||0||0||1||2||.279|
|Joe Mauer, C||4||2||3||2||1||0||0||.364|
|Justin Morneau, 1B||4||0||2||1||0||0||3||.361|
|Michael Cuddyer, RF||3||0||0||0||1||0||4||.270|
|Jason Kubel, DH||4||1||2||0||0||0||2||.224|
|Delmon Young, LF||3||0||0||0||1||2||1||.278|
|Alexi Casilla, SS||2||0||0||0||1||1||1||.250|
|Nick Punto, 3B||3||0||0||1||1||2||1||.258|
|2B - Justin Morneau (9, Marte)|
|HR - Joe Mauer (2, Burnett)|
|SH - Alexi Casilla (1)|
|RBI - Joe Mauer 2 (16), Justin Morneau (24), Nick Punto (9)|
|2-OUT RBI - Joe Mauer 2 (8), Justin Morneau (9)|
|CS - Alexi Casilla (1, 2nd base by Burnett/Cervelli)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Outfield Assists - Delmon Young 1|
|Scott Baker (L,4-3)||6||10||5||5||1||9||1||4.93|
|Brian Duensing (H,6)||0.1||0||1||1||1||0||0||1.93|
|Matt Guerrier (BS,2)||0.2||1||1||1||0||0||1||2.16|
|IBB - Teixeira by Brian Duensing|
|Pitches-Strikes - Scott Baker 100-72, Brian Duensing 7-2, Matt Guerrier 9-7, Jose Mijares 7-5, Alex Burnett 20-14|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Baker 2-6, Matt Guerrier 1-1, Alex Burnett 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Scott Baker 28, Brian Duensing 2, Matt Guerrier 3, Jose Mijares 2, Alex Burnett 3|
|New York Yankees|
|Derek Jeter, SS||5||1||1||0||0||1||2||.267|
|Brett Gardner, CF-LF||5||2||2||1||0||1||3||.333|
|Mark Teixeira, 1B||3||2||2||1||1||1||0||.209|
|Alex Rodriguez, 3B||3||1||2||4||1||0||1||.281|
|Robinson Cano, 2B||4||0||2||1||0||1||0||.338|
|Nick Swisher, RF||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.294|
|Randy Winn, RF||3||0||0||0||0||1||3||.184|
|Marcus Thames, LF||3||0||1||0||0||2||3||.341|
|Greg Golson, CF||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.400|
|Juan Miranda, DH||4||1||1||0||0||1||4||.143|
|Francisco Cervelli, C||4||1||2||1||0||1||1||.415|
|2B - Derek Jeter (7, Baker), Mark Teixeira (7, Baker), Robinson Cano 2 (8, Baker, Baker), Juan Miranda (1, Mijares)|
|3B - Francisco Cervelli (2, Burnett)|
|HR - Brett Gardner (2, Baker), Alex Rodriguez (4, Guerrier)|
|RBI - Brett Gardner (12), Mark Teixeira (26), Alex Rodriguez 4 (26), Robinson Cano (23), Francisco Cervelli (14)|
|2-OUT RBI - Mark Teixeira (10)|
|CS - Greg Golson (1, 2nd base by Mijares/Mauer)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Burnett-Cervelli-Teixeira, Rodriguez-Cano-Teixeira|
|E - Alex Rodriguez (3, Misplayed grounder)|
|New York Yankees|
|Damaso Marte (BS,2)||0.1||2||1||1||1||0||0||4.91|
|Joba Chamberlain (H,7; W,1-1)||1||0||0||0||0||3||0||2.16|
|IBB - Cuddyer by Damaso Marte|
|Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Burnett 99-50, Damaso Marte 19-10, Joba Chamberlain 14-10, Mariano Rivera 11-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Burnett 10-4, Mariano Rivera 3-0|
|Batters Faced - A.J. Burnett 29, Damaso Marte 4, Joba Chamberlain 3, Mariano Rivera 3|
|Attendance - 45195|
|Game Time - 3:11|
|Temperature - 78|
|Umpires - Home - Alfonso Marquez, First Base - Tim Timmons, Second Base - Tim Tschida, Third Base - Bob Davidson|