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A-Rod hits milestone GS as Yanks rout O's by 12 runs

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BALTIMORE -- As Alex Rodriguez moves up the charts in several impressive categories, he has come to accept his place among baseball's greatest players.

Rodriguez hit a milestone grand slam and drove in six runs, CC Sabathia earned his first win of the season and the New York Yankees pounded the Baltimore Orioles 15-3 on Saturday night.

Rodriguez connected with the bases full against Josh Rupe in a seven-run eighth inning. It was his 22nd career slam, pushing him past Manny Ramirez into second place on the career list behind only Lou Gehrig (23).

"It's definitely exciting. I appreciate the moment," Rodriguez said. "I think I've grown and matured to a level now where I can appreciate it some and not just brush it off like I did in the past."

The six RBI also lifted Rodriguez past Carl Yastrzemski into 10th place on the career RBI list (1,847), according to Elias Sports Bureau.

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"Without question, I'm going to appreciate [the accomplishments] a lot more once I'm done playing," he said. "But overall, I played with a lot of great players. Numbers like RBI and wins and championships, you need 25 guys, 24 other guys helping you."

A-Rod had plenty of help in this blowout. Russell Martin homered twice, and Jorge Posada and Brett Gardner also connected for the Yankees, who lead the majors with 35 home runs.

Sabathia (1-1) allowed three runs and six hits in eight innings, striking out seven and walking one. The performance came one night after his scheduled start was postponed by a rainout.

"Maybe that extra day did help him," manager Joe Girardi said. "I saw him [Friday] and he looked OK, but you know he had a low-grade fever and wasn't feeling great."

Sabathia came in with a 2.52 ERA, but was winless after four starts for only the third time in his career.

The left-hander's elusive first victory of the year came against a team he has dominated for years. In 21 starts against Baltimore, he's 15-2 with a 2.89 ERA.

What's up with that?

"I have no idea because the lineup is always different," Sabathia said. "It's just one of those things, one of those parks."

But the story was Rodriguez, whose ability to repeatedly come up with a clutch hit is probably no accident.

"It credits the amount of work he's been able to do, and how gifted and talented he is when you get guys on," teammate Curtis Granderson said. "The guy never cracks and just takes advantage of all the opportunities."

Adam Jones homered for the Orioles, who have lost 27 of their last 34 games against New York.

Brad Bergesen (0-3) gave up six runs and eight hits in six innings. He's 0-3 with a 7.29 ERA in four career starts against the Yankees.

"It's a great hitting lineup, and a couple pitches really hurt me," Bergesen said. "This lineup, you're not going to get away with a whole lot and it was evident tonight."

Four of the first five New York batters reached base in a three-run first inning. After Derek Jeter singled and took third on Mark Teixeira's double, Rodriguez hit a two-run double and Robinson Cano capped the uprising with an RBI single.

After one turn through the lineup, the Yankees produced three runs on five hits. Baltimore, in contrast, went 0 for 9 with three strikeouts.

Sabathia retired the first 11 batters before Derrek Lee singled with two outs in the fourth.

Bergesen rebounded from his shaky start to pitch well through the fifth inning, but in the sixth he gave up a single to Cano and walked Nick Swisher before Martin homered.

Jones hit a three-run drive in the seventh, but New York pulled away in the eighth against three Baltimore relievers. Posada hit a two-run shot off Jason Berken and Martin immediately followed with his sixth home run of the season. Then, after the Yankees loaded the bases against Jeremy Accardo, Rodriguez hit a 2-0 pitch into the left field seats.

Before that outburst, New York was the only team in the majors that had not scored at least four runs in an inning.

After Rupe hit Martin in the back with a pitch in the ninth, Gardner hit his first homer of the season.

Rupe said the brushback pitch was completely accidental.

"I had no intent to hit him. I looked at the video and it didn't look good," the pitcher said. "But there's no way that I would intentionally go at somebody's head or go way up there. I know how to hit a guy when the situation calls for it and that wasn't it. No, I wouldn't do it."

Notes

  • Cano extended his hitting streak to 12 games. He's 19 for 49 (.388) during that span.
  • Brian Roberts has hit in 10 straight for Baltimore.
  • Jeter (2 for 17), Gardner (0 for 16) and Posada (2 for 20) ended prolonged slumps.
 
Copyright 2015 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 watches his 22nd career slam -- putting him second on the all-time list behind Lou Gehrig -- fly over the wall.  (Getty Images)
Alex Rodriguez watches his 22nd career slam -- putting him second on the all-time list behind Lou Gehrig -- fly over the wall. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
New York

A. Rodriguez
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 6
New York

R. Martin
AB 3
R 3
H 2
HR 2
RBI 4
 

Related Video

New York Yankees
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Derek Jeter, SS4210101 .221
    Eduardo Nunez, SS1000000 .000
Curtis Granderson, CF5110012 .267
Mark Teixeira, 1B3220200 .279
Alex Rodriguez, 3B5226002 .370
    Eric Chavez, 3B0000000 .389
Robinson Cano, 2B5231010 .324
Nick Swisher, RF4100102 .254
Jorge Posada, DH5112033 .164
Russell Martin, C3324100 .333
Brett Gardner, LF5122011 .154
Totals4015141556  
Batting
2B - Mark Teixeira (5, Bergesen), Alex Rodriguez (6, Bergesen), Brett Gardner (2, Bergesen)
HR - Alex Rodriguez (5, Rupe), Jorge Posada (6, Berken), Russell Martin 2 (6, Bergesen, Berken), Brett Gardner (1, Rupe)
RBI - Alex Rodriguez 6 (16), Robinson Cano (14), Jorge Posada 2 (11), Russell Martin 4 (15), Brett Gardner 2 (4)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Rodriguez 4 (6), Brett Gardner 2 (4)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Jeter-Cano-Teixeira
New York Yankees
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
CC Sabathia (W,1-1) 8633171 2.73
Buddy Carlyle 1000100 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - CC Sabathia 103-76, Buddy Carlyle 19-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - CC Sabathia 11-5, Buddy Carlyle 1-2
Batters Faced - CC Sabathia 30, Buddy Carlyle 4
Baltimore Orioles
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Brian Roberts, 2B4010011 .278
    Cesar Izturis, PR-SS0000000 .235
Nick Markakis, RF3110100 .208
Derrek Lee, 1B4120012 .225
Vladimir Guerrero, DH4000013 .266
Adam Jones, CF4113000 .224
Mark Reynolds, 3B3000110 .177
Matt Wieters, C3000020 .255
    Felix Pie, LF1000001 .263
Jake Fox, LF-C3000000 .118
Robert Andino, SS-2B3010010 .310
Totals3236327  
Batting
HR - Adam Jones (4, Sabathia)
RBI - Adam Jones 3 (11)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Andino-B. Roberts-Lee
Baltimore Orioles
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brad Bergesen (L,0-3) 6866241 5.40
Jason Berken 1.1333102 3.72
Clay Rapada 0.1133200 16.20
Josh Rupe 1.1233022 7.71
HBP - Martin (by Josh Rupe)
Pitches-Strikes - Brad Bergesen 100-66, Jason Berken 17-10, Clay Rapada 17-6, Josh Rupe 23-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Bergesen 6-8, Jason Berken 2-1, Clay Rapada 1-0, Josh Rupe 2-0
Batters Faced - Brad Bergesen 28, Jason Berken 7, Clay Rapada 4, Josh Rupe 7
Game Information
Attendance - 30054
Game Time - 2:43
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Brian Runge, First Base - Angel Campos, Second Base - Marvin Hudson, Third Base - Ted Barrett