Alex Rodriguez slugged two home runs and drove in four runs as the New York Yankees out dueled the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 Friday night. The two bombs give Rodriguez a total of 658, just two shy of catching the legendary Willie Mays for fourth place on the all-time list.
Rodriguez started the scoring with a solo shot (3) in the top of the second inning off Rays starter Nathan Karns that traveled well into the Captain Morgan deck behind the center field wall. In the sixth, he sent an Ernesto Frieri fastball right down the left-field line for a two-run laser (4) that scored Brian McCann in front of him to tie the game at 4-4.
With the game still tied in the eighth, Rodriguez singled home pinch runner Brett Gardner with the game-winning run to complete his big night.
Friday night's game is the 61st in which Rodriguez has hit multiple home runs, and it was the first time since 2012 that he has accomplished the feat.
Other milestone home runs occurred in Friday night's game. Yankees second baseman Stephen Drew hit career home run #100 with a solo shot (3) in the fourth for the Yankees' second run. In addition, Tampa Bay's Allan Dykstra hit his first Major League home run (1), a three-run blast off the right-filed foul pole (video) that put Tampa Bay ahead in the bottom of the fourth.
Logan Forsythe followed Dykstra's home run with a solo shot of his own (2) to make it 4-2 at that point. Tampa Bay would not score again.
Dellin Betances (W: 2-0, 0.00 ERA) picked up the win in relief. He pitched one scoreless inning, allowing one hit with one strike out. Andrew Miller (S: 3) earned a four-out save, striking out three men and allowing one hit. Yankee starter Adam Warren lasted just four innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out two.
Kevin Jepsen (L: 0-1, 1.50) took the loss by serving up Rodriguez's eighth-inning single, one of two hits he allowed. Rays starter Karns pitched five innings, allowing two earned runs on two hits (both home runs) while walking four and fanning seven.
The series continues Saturday night at 7:10 p.m. EDT. Masahiro Tanaka (1-1, 7.00) will pitch for New York, and Jake Odorizzi (2-0, 0.61) will go for Tampa Bay.