Yan­kees stomp Tigers in 7-2 win as A-Rod joins elite list of play­ers

Alex Ro­driguez be­comes 29th player to homer on 3,000th hit

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY BEN WALKER

Alex Ro­driguez home­red for his 3,000th ca­reer hit and smiled all the way around the bases as the New York Yan­kees beat the Detroit Tigers 7-2 Fri­day night, the high­light so far in what has be­come a resur­gent sea­son for the for­merly dis­graced slug­ger.

Ro­driguez wasted no time, con­nect­ing in the first in­ning on a first-pitch, 95 mph fast­ball from Tigers ace Justin Ver­lan­der (0-1).

Out of base­ball last year while serv­ing a drug sus­pen­sion, Ro­driguez be­came the 29th player in ma­jor league history to reach 3,000 hits. He was the first to do it since Yan­kees great Derek Jeter home­red from the very same bat­ter’s box in 2011.

Adam War­ren (5-4) gave up two runs in a ca­reer-high eight in­nings, and Brett Gard­ner and Didi Gre­go­rius also home­red as the Yan­kees won their third in a row. Detroit has lost four of six.

Blue Jays 5, Ori­oles 4 Marco Estrada took a no- hitter into the eighth in­ning, Ed­win En­car­na­cion had two RBIs and the Toronto Blue Jays won their ninth straight home game.

Bat­ting for Steve Pearce, pinch­hit­ter Jimmy Pare­des broke up Estrada’s no-hit bid with a bloop sin­gle to left to be­gin the eighth, end­ing a streak of 15 straight outs.

Bench coach DeMarlo Hale, fill­ing in for ejected man­ager John Gib­bons, im­me­di­ately came out and re­placed Estrada with Roberto Osuna. Estrada (5-3) won his fourth straight start, al­low­ing one run in seven-plus in­nings. He walked four and struck out six.

Adam Jones hit a two-out, tworun sin­gle off Brett Ce­cil in the ninth, but Ce­cil struck out Chris Davis for his fifth save. Mike Wright (2-3) took the loss. Na­tion­als 4, Pi­rates 1 Joe Ross struck out 11 in his third ma­jor league start, and the Washington Na­tion­als beat A. J. Bur­nett and the Pittsburgh Pi­rates to end their eight-game win­ning streak.

The 22- year- old Ross ( 2- 1) al­lowed one run, six hits and a walk in 7 1/3 in­nings. Drew Storen worked the ninth for his 20th save.

Bur­nett (6-3) gave up 14 hits, the most in a ca­reer that be­gan in 1999.

Wil­son Ramos had two hits and two RBIs for the Na­tion­als, who ended a four-game home los­ing streak. Washington played with­out star right fielder Bryce Harper, who strained his left ham­string on Thurs­day night. Harper avoided the dis­abled list, although that could still hap­pen if he’s slow to re­cover from the in­jury.

Rays 4, In­di­ans 1 As­drubal Cabr­era hit one of three solo home runs for Tampa Bay in his re­turn to Cleve­land, lead­ing the Rays over the In­di­ans.

Cabr­era, who played for the In­di­ans from 2007 un­til be­ing traded to Washington last July, broke a 1-all tie with a two-out homer in the sec­ond.

Joey But­ler home­red in the first in­ning and Steven Souza Jr. added a home run in the ninth for Tampa Bay, which has won seven of eight.

Rookie right- han­der Nathan Karns (4-3) al­lowed one run in 5 1/3 in­nings for his first win since May 13. Four re­liev­ers fol­lowed with Brad Boxberger pitch­ing the ninth for his 17th save.

Reds 5, Mar­lins 0 Mike Leake al­lowed only two sin­gles through seven in­nings, and Mar­lon Byrd home­red in his re­turn from a bro­ken wrist, lead­ing the Cincinnati Reds over the Mi­ami Mar­lins.

Alex Ro­driguez home­red for his 3,000th ca­reer hit on Fri­day and smiled all the way as he jogged around the bases in the high­light so far in what’s be­come a resur­gent sea­son for the for­merly dis­graced slug­ger.

The New York Yan­kees star wasted no time in reach­ing the mile­stone, con­nect­ing in the first in­ning on a first-pitch fast­ball from Detroit ace Justin Ver­lan­der.

Ro­driguez be­came the 29th player in ma­jor league history to reach 3,000 hits, and the first since Yan­kees great Derek Jeter home­red from the very same bat­ter’s box in 2011.

With the crowd at Yan­kee Sta­dium stand­ing in an­tic­i­pa­tion, Ro­driguez sent a high drive to right field. He held onto the bat as he took a few steps to­ward first base, and right fielder J.D. Martinez bumped into the wall as he backed up.

The crowd roared as the ball sailed into the seats. Re­triev­ing the sou­venir ball might be harder for Ro­driguez than hit­ting it. In the late in­nings, Yan­kees spokesman Jason Zillo said a “pro­fes­sional home run catcher” wound up with the prize and “he is not in­tend­ing to give it to us.”

Ro­driguez was greeted by team­mates as he made his way to the dugout, and got a hug from man­ager Joe Gi­rardi.

Ro­driguez turns 40 next month. The three-time AL MVP launched his 13th homer and has en­joyed a pro­duc­tive year as a des­ig­nated hitter af­ter sit­ting out all of last sea­son while serv­ing a drug sus­pen­sion.

Ro­driguez hit his 667th ca­reer home run af­ter be­gin­ning the day with a .299 life­time av­er­age in 21 sea­sons. He joined Hank Aaron and Wil­lie Mays as the only play­ers with 600 homers and 3,000 hits.

The Reds have won 10 of their last 13 against the Mar­lins. Mi­ami has been held to four runs or less in each of their last 11 games against Cincinnati.

Leake (4-4) has a history of suc­cess against the Mar­lins, go­ing 4-1 in five ca­reer starts. He re­tired the first 13 bat­ters Fri­day be­fore giv­ing up two walks. Chris­tian Yelich sin­gled through the hole at short­stop with two outs in the sixth for Mi­ami’s first hit.

Byrd re­turned from a bro­ken right wrist and home­red in his sec­ond at-bat off Dan Haren (6-4), a solo shot to cen­ter.

Braves 2, Mets 1

Matt Wisler Ear­lier this year, Ro­driguez passed Mays for fourth place on the all-time homer list and eclipsed Barry Bonds for sec­ond on the of­fi­cial RBIs chart.

For all his achieve­ments, A-Rod has been a po­lar­iz­ing fig­ure in re­cent years. While the crowd in the Bronx cheered him, there are many fans who will for­ever at­tach an as­terisk to any­thing Ro­driguez ac­com­plishes.

Such is the base­ball world in the wake of per­for­manceen­hanc­ing drugs, where RBIs, ERAs and other huge num­bers have been tainted by PEDs. Bonds, Roger Cle­mens and Mark McGwire are among the many with Hall of Fame cre­den­tials who haven’t come close to be­ing elected be­cause of drug scan­dals.

As Ro­driguez as­cended to be­com­ing a peren­nial All-Star, many looked at him as a player who could help re­store cred­i­bil­ity to the record books while stars such as Manny Ramirez, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro were caught up in drug scan­dals dur­ing the late 1990s and 2000s.

But in 2009, Ro­driguez ad­mit­ted to us­ing steroids while with Texas. His in­volve­ment in the Bio­gen­e­sis drug in­ves­ti­ga­tion near Mi­ami, where he lives in the off­sea­son, was a low point and it got him sus­pended for a year af­ter an ac­ri­mo­nious ap­peal.

Af­ter su­ing MLB and the Yan­kees — all law­suits have been dropped — Ro­driguez re­turned to base­ball with trep­i­da­tion. But he has won back some fans in New York by be­ing a pro­duc­tive player on the field and a model citizen off the diamond.

Ro­driguez tied the late Roberto Cle­mente with 3,000 hits, and can rapidly move up the list. Craig Big­gio is 21st and reach­able this year with 3,060, and Cal Rip­ken is 15th at 3,184.

Pete Rose owns the ca­reer record with 4,256. al­lowed only one run in eight i nnings i n his ma­jor l eague de­but to out­pitch Ja­cob deGrom, and Jace Peter­son hit a two- run dou­ble in the eighth to lift the At­lanta Braves past the New York Mets.

Wisler (1-0) al­lowed one run and six hits and no walks in eight in­nings. The NL East- lead­ing Mets’ only run off Wisler came on Michael Cud­dyer’s run- scor­ing sin­gle in the sixth.

Un­til the eighth in­ning, deGrom (7-5) was dom­i­nant on his 27th birth­day. He al­lowed two runs and four hits, in­clud­ing two in the eighth.


New York Yan­kees’ Alex Ro­driguez hits a home run for his 3,000th ca­reer hit, dur­ing the first in­ning of a base­ball game against the Detroit Tigers on Fri­day, June 19.

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