Rodriguez powers Yanks to 5-4 win over Rays
Alex Rodriguez inched closer to Willie Mays with two more home runs as the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 on Friday.
Rodriguez hit a solo shot in the second, driving an 0-1 pitch from Nathan Karns an estimated 471 feet to center. He connected again in the sixth, belting a tworun drive to left against Ernesto Frieri for homer No. 658 — just two shy of Mays for fourth place on baseball’s career list.
Rodriguez, who missed last season because of a drug suspension, also had a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth against Kevin Jepsen (0-1). Brett Gardner, who came in to run for Carlos Beltran after his leadoff single, stole sec- ond before Rodriguez singled to center with two out.
Allan Dykstra and Logan Forsythe hit consecutive homers in the fourth to give Tampa Bay a 4-2 lead.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw struck out 12 batters in six innings on his way to his first win, helping Los Angeles beat the Colorado Rockies 7-3.
Kershaw ( 1- 1) allowed three runs — one earned — and six hits. The reigning National League MVP is 21-2 with a 1.69 ERA in his last 24 regular-season starts.
In Kansas City, Missouri, Paulo Orlando hit a tiebreaking RBI triple in a two-run eighth inning as the Royals beat the Oakland Athletics 6-4 in their first meeting since last September’s dramatic wild-card game.
Omar Infante drove in a pair of runs for the Royals, whose 12-inning victory over the Athletics last year ultimately spurred them all the way to Game 7 of the World Series.
Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis (2-0) each pitched a scoreless inning in relief of the Royals’ Jeremy Guthrie, and Greg Holland breezed through the ninth for his fourth save.
Max Scherzer pitched eight strong innings to get his first win with the Nationals and Bryce Harper hit a three-run homer as Washington downed the Philadelphia Phillies 7-2.
Danny Espinosa also homered and Ryan Zimmerman added a two-run double to help Washington to its third straight win.
Scherzer (1-1) allowed one run and struck out nine in his third start since signed a seven-year, US$210 million contract in January.
Angels star Mike Trout homered twice to become the youngest player in history with 100 home runs and 100 stolen bases in Los Angeles’ 6-3 victory over the Houston Astros, while Jose Iglesias hit a game-ending RBI single as the Detroit Tigers improved their major league-best record to nine wins from their first 10 games in a 2-1 win over the Chicago White Sox.
In other games, top prospect Kris Bryant went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in his first game with the Chicago Cubs as Wil Myers hit a three-run homer for the San Diego Padres in a 5-4 win, the Arizona Diamondbacks trounced the San Francisco Giants 9-0, the Boston Red Sox edged the Baltimore Orioles 3-2, the New York Mets downed the Miami Marlins 4-1 and the Texas Rangers defeated the Seattle Mariners 3-1.
The Pittsburgh Pirates broke out of a lengthy slump with a 6-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers, the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-1, the Atlanta Braves edged the Toronto Blue Jays 8-7 and the Minnesota Twins were 3-2 winners over the Cleveland Indians.
Los Angeles Dodgers’ Carl Crawford, left, scores on a double by Adrian Gonzalez as Colorado Rockies catcher Nick Hundley waits for the throw during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Friday, April 17.