Results tagged ‘ Alex Rodriguez ’

Yankees run out of dramatic comebacks

The Yankees went nearly half the 2015 season before they won a game in their last at-bat, which had not occurred since Derek Jeter’s walk-off hit in his final game at Yankee Stadium last September. Then to start off the Fourth of July Weekend, the Yankees pulled off back-to-back walk-off victories over the American League East rival Rays.

Friday, it was the powerful swing of Brian McCann, whose three-run home run in the bottom of the 12th inning sent the Yankees to a 7-5 triumph. Saturday, it was the churning legs of pinch runner Jose Pirela, who raced from second base to home to score on an errant throw to first base by pitcher Brad Boxberger to complete a 3-2 victory.

It appeared as if the Yankees would wrap that game as a shutout up without batting in the ninth, but Dellin Betances was tagged for a two-run home run by Steven Souza in the top of the inning that tied the score. It was only the second blown save this season by Betances, who has done a solid job in the closer role while Andrew Miller has been on the 15-day disabled list. It was the first home run Betances allowed since Aug. 13 last year at Baltimore by Jonathan Schoop, a 54-game stretch covering 59 2/3 innings.

There would be no such comeback Sunday, however, as the Rays ran with an early lead, built on it and ended a seven-game losing streak by coasting, 8-1. The Yankees managed only three hits – all for extra bases, including Alex Rodriguez’s 16th home run, which accounted for their scoring.

This game got out of hand in the eighth inning when the Rays staged a four-run rally that began when Pirela, Saturday’s hero, made two errors on the same play. He had just entered the game at second base after having pinch-hit for Stephen Drew the previous inning. A bases-loaded walk by Chris Capuano added to the unsightly frame.

One positive showing from the bullpen was another impressive outing by Nick Rumbelow, who retired the side in order with two strikeouts in the ninth.

Yankees starter Ivan Nova hurt himself with a throwing error that cost him one of the four runs he allowed in five shaky innings. After two impressive outings since coming back from Tommy John surgery, Nova had his first ineffective performance, although the Yankees were still within reach until the eighth.

In Nova’s past two starts, Yankees batters have had just three hits while he was on the mound – one Sunday and two last Tuesday night at Anaheim. Nova is 0-5 with a 4.71 ERA in his past six starts against Tampa Bay dating to June 23, 2013 after having gone 6-1 in his first nine career games (eight starts) against the Rays.

Tampa Bay starter Erasmo Ramirez (7-3) held the Yanks in check for six innings. He did walk three batters, hit one and committed an error, but the A-Rod homer (career No. 670) was the only damage the righthander suffered. Since joining the starting rotation May 14, Ramirez is 7-2 with a 2.17 ERA in 10 starts and 54 innings.

The Yankees scored only one run for the fourth time in their past seven games and one or less for the fifth time in their past 10 games since June 25. From May 19 through June 24, they were held to one or fewer runs just twice in 33 games (none May 31 at Oakland and one June 15 at Miami). Rodriguez is finding the Stadium quite comfortable. In his past nine home games since June 19, A-Rod is batting .406 with seven runs, one double, four home runs and 12 RBI in 32 at-bats.

Equally as comfortable at the Stadium, unfortunately for the Yankees, is James Loney. The Rays first baseman, who had a two-run single off Nova in the first inning, is a career .402 hitter in 112 at-bats at Yankee Stadium. He ranks third among visiting players with a minimum of 50 at-bats at the Stadium behind only Justin Morneau (.433 in 60 at-bats) and Kurt Suzuki (.411 in 56 at-bats). In 55 career games against the Yankees in all venues, Loney is batting .340 with an .857 on-base plus slugging in 212 at-bats. That is Yankee Killer stuff.

The Yanks may have failed to pull off a sweep but they maintained a hold on first place in the AL East by 1 ½ games over the Orioles and two over the Rays and Blue Jays.

Tex & Mac get the fireworks started early

How many times can a team lose a game and still win? Well, for the Yankees Friday night, twice. They looked beaten in the eighth inning until Mark Teixeira tied the score with a three-run home run for their first scores of the night. They also appeared headed for defeat when the Rays scored two runs in the top of the 12th inning, but the Yankees were not ready to call it a night.

They chipped away for a run on a leadoff walk to Brett Gardner and one-out singles by Alex Rodriguez and Teixeira before another three-run homer, this time by Brian McCann, got the Fourth of July Weekend of fireworks off to an early start.

For seven innings, the Yankees seemed to have brought the lethargic offense they experienced on the recent trip to Houston and Anaheim home with them as longtime nemesis Chris Archer put them through the paces. The righthander, who has never lost to the Yankees, kept that record intact with 6 2/3 brilliant innings in which he allowed three hits and three walks with a hit batter, a wild pitch and eight strikeouts.

Center fielder Kevin Kiermaier saved a run with a leaping catch in front of the wall to rob Stephen Drew of an RBI, extra-base hit in the third inning. That was as close to scoring as the Yankees got until the eighth when Chase Headley and Rodriguez singled with one out off Kevin Jepsen and Teixeira smoked a 1-0 fastball from the righthander for his 20th home run.

For the Yankees, Nick Rumbelow came up big out of the bullpen in the top of the eighth after Chris Capuano had given up singles to the first two batters of the inning. Rumbelow retired Joey Butler on an infield fly and then got Evan Longoria on a fly to right and James Loney on a ground ball to third base.

Dellin Betances and Justin Wilson also pitched well in relief before the Rays got to Adam Warren and Chasen Shreve for two runs in the top of the 12th. Things looked dismal at that point, but the Yankees proved to have another comeback in them.

The Rays had scored twice in the first inning off Masahiro Tanaka, who allowed a third run in the fifth. Overall, it was an encouraging night for the Japanese righthander, who was off two bad starts but rebounded with six innings of three-run, six-hit, one-walk, five-strikeout work in six innings. But this was a game that had more to do with the end than the start.

Yankees, A-Rod settle dispute & get 3,000th-hit ball

The Yankees and Alex Rodriguez had a good day Friday on the eve of the Fourth of July. They amicably resolved their potential dispute regarding the designated hitter’s entitlement to bonus monies under the provision of his player contract covering historical statistical accomplishments.

As part of the resolution jointly announced Friday by Major League Baseball and the Major League Players Association, Rodriguez and the Yankees have agreed that $3.5 million in charity contributions will be made by the club, with $1 million going to the following charities that have long enjoyed the support of one or both: the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, the Boys & Girls Club of Tampa, Fla., and Pitch In For Baseball; and $2.5 million going to the MLB Urban Youth Foundation, which will use the money to further programs and initiatives aimed at increasing youth participation in baseball, particularly in cities.

Commissioner Rob Manfred will determine the initiatives to be supported by the $2.5 million contribution after consulting with Rodriguez and taking into consideration the focus of his past charitable contributions.

In addition, Zack Hample, the fan who retrieved Alex Rodriguez’s 3,000th hit June 19, presented the ball to A-Rod at a press conference before Friday night’s game. The Yankees also donated $150,000 to Pitch In For Baseball, a charity which Hample has supported since 2009 that is dedicated to maximizing the ability to play baseball in under-served communities.

Founded in 2005, Pitch In For Baseball (PIFB) collects and redistributes new and gently-used baseball and softball equipment to communities in need across the globe. To date, PIFB has distributed equipment and uniforms to more than 80 countries worldwide and more than 450 communities around the United States, which has impacted more than 500,000 children in need. Based in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, PIFB is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. To learn more about Pitch In For Baseball, visit http://www.pifb.org.

With a solo home run in the first inning of the Yankees-Tigers game at Yankee Stadium Friday, June 19, Rodriguez became the 29th player all-time to reach the 3,000 hits plateau. He was the second player to record his 3,000th career hit with the Yankees, joining Derek Jeter, who did it July 9, 2011 against the Rays. They are the only individuals to have reached the plateau at the Stadium – original or current.

Nova good as new in return from TJ surgery

A homestand that began so promisingly and then seemed to fall apart ended on a very high note Wednesday for the Yankees as Ivan Nova made a triumphant return from Tommy John surgery to repair his right elbow 14 months ago.

The Phillies, owners of the worst record in baseball, threatened to complete a embarrassing sweep of the Yankees behind veteran Cole Hamels, who seems to be auditioning for a variety of clubs in need of a quality starter. Nova followed disappointing starts by CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda and Masahiro Tanaka with 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball against a team that had scored 22 runs over the previous two games.

Yankees pitchers were banged around for 34 runs and 44 hits in three straight losses. Nova’s outing was just what they needed, not that they could have expected it from him. Pitchers coming back from Tommy John surgery do not often have so impressive a first outing as did Nova in a 10-2 victory over the Phillies.

The Yankees gave their teammate some working room by jumping out to a 5-0 lead off Hamels by the fourth inning, a continuation of their offensive combustibility throughout the homestand in which they scored 60 runs in eight games, an average of 7.5 runs per game. On the 5-3 homestand, the Yanks batted .351 with 19 home runs to offset a staff ERA of 5.50.

As for Nova, his ERA is 0.00. In his first start since April 19, 2014, the righthander allowed three hits and two walks. He had only one strikeout but kept the Phillies off base with routine outs. Center fielder Brett Gardner had nine putouts behind Nova.

Gardner also continued his ferocious hitting with an RBI single, a walk and two runs. On the homestand, he had 17-for-36 (.472) with three doubles, one triple, four home runs and 10 RBI. Gardy scored 12 runs and raised his batting average 30 points to .292.

Everybody on the Yankees hit Wednesday except for Carlos Beltran (0-for-5; there is always one player who doesn’t get to the dance floor). After missing two games because of a stiff neck, Mark Teixeira banged out three singles and knocked in two runs.

Chase Headley, Alex Rodriguez, Chris Young, Didi Gregorius and Jose Pirela had two hits apiece. Hamels was gone after five innings in which he allowed five runs, eight hits and three walks, and the Yankees piled it on against two Phillies relievers.

Finally, the Yankees were able to put a net over infielder Maikel Franco, who was 0-for-4 after having gone 6-for-8 (.750) with 10 RBI and five runs over the two prior games.

The Yankees are 12-4 in their past 16 home games since May 25 and have outscored opponents, 115-67, during that time. Nova’s stint was the longest stretch of scoreless innings by a Yankees pitcher in his season debut since Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez pitched eight innings of one-hit ball April 26, 2002 against Tampa Bay.

The victory coupled with the Rays’ loss to the Blue Jays inched the Yankees to one game of first-place Tampa Bay in the American League East.

Gardner back to catalyst form on homestand

Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner were a dynamic 1-2 punch at the top of the batting order for the Yankees the first month of the season. But since Ellsbury went on the 15-day disabled list May 20 because of a right knee strain, Gardner seemed lost without his partner.

Going into this homestand, Gardner was in a 94 at-bat stretch in which he hit .223 with four doubles, one triple, two home runs and 12 RBI while watching his season batting average slide from .291 to .262. He has turned it around the past three nights at Yankee Stadium, however, climaxed by a 4-for-5, three-RBI performance Friday night that has pushed his average back up to .277. And not surprisingly, the Yankees won all three games with Gardner back in catalyst mode.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi was at a loss before the game to explain the club’s seesaw season during which they have had seemingly equal stretches of good and bad play. One thing the skipper did say that what the Yankees do when things are going good is “not giving extra outs and hitting home runs.”

They adhered to that axiom in the 7-2 victory over the Tigers. Three home runs, including Alex Rodriguez’s 3,000th career hit, against former American League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander powered the Yankees to their third straight victory and kept the Detroit righthander winless at Yankee Stadium in four career regular-season decisions. As for not giving extra outs, well, they came close to that but were able to rectify their lone error with a snappy play at the plate to defuse a potentially productive sixth inning for the Tigers.

The Yankees had just taken a 4-2 lead on a two-run home run by Gardner (No. 7) in the bottom of the fifth. The Yanks’ two prior homers were solo shots by Rodriguez (No. 13, career No. 667) in the first and Didi Gregorius (No. 3) in the second. In only his second start of the season after coming back from a right triceps injury, Verlander was not of Cy Young vintage.

Ian Kinsler started the sixth against Adam Warren (5-4), who had yet another strong night as a starter (8 IP, 7 H, 2R-ER, 0 BB, 7 K), with an infield single. Miguel Cabrera, who had struck out in his first two at-bats against Warren, lined a single to right field, sending Kinsler to third.

Yankees third baseman Chase Headley failed to handle right fielder Carlos Beltran’s relay for an error, but he atoned for that immediately when he retrieved the ball behind the bag and threw home to nail Kinsler at the plate on a fine tag by catcher John Ryan Murphy. Cabrera took second on the play but died there as Victor Martinez fouled out to Headley and Yoenis Cespedes grounded out.

The Yankees then pulled away with two runs in the seventh and one in the eighth. Gardner was a significant part of both rallies. He got the seventh inning started by bunting for a single with one out and eventually scored on a wild pitch. In the eighth, Gardner’s two-out single to left scored Chris Young, who had doubled.

Young entered the game as a defensive replacement in center field for rookie Mason Williams, who jammed his right shoulder sliding back into first base on a pickoff attempt by Verlander in the fifth inning. Williams was examined by team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad, but no further tests were ordered.

A-Rod’s 3,000th hit also his 667th home run

In his previous quests for landmark hits such as his 500th and 600th home runs, Alex Rodriguez went days without achieving them as at-bat after at-bat piled up. Not so with his 3,000th hit, however.

A-Rod wasted no time in becoming the 29th member of the major leagues’ 3,000 Hit Club Friday night when he hit the first pitch he saw from Detroit’s Justin Verlander for an opposite-field home run with two out in the bottom of the first inning. Rodriguez’s first big-league hit was 21 years ago as a rookie with the Mariners.

His 3,000th hit was also his 667th career home run. The only players other than A-Rod with 3,000 hits and more than 600 home runs are Hall of Famers Henry Aaron and Willie Mays.

Rodriguez joined former teammate Derek Jeter as the only players to reach the 3,000-hit plateau wearing Yankees uniforms. Four other 3,000 Hit Club members played for the Yankees during their careers: Paul Waner, Dave Winfield, Rickey Henderson and Wade Boggs.

A-Rod also became the third player whose 3,000th hit was a home run. The others were Boggs with Tampa Bay in 1999 and Jeter against the Rays at Yankee Stadium in 2011. Rodriguez acknowledged the fans’ applause with a curtain call.

That A-Rod’s 3,000th hit came against a pitcher the caliber of Verlander, a former American League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award winner, was not a surprise. Rodriguez, a three-time AL MVP, entered the game with a .357 batting average and four home runs in 28 career at-bats against Verlander.

Big homers by Gardner & Beltran spark Yanks

Miami is the only one of 30 major league teams that CC Sabathia does not have a victory against, a situation that remained after his start Thursday night. While Sabathia failed to get that first winning decision over the Marlins, he avoided being tagged with a loss, thanks to his teammates.

The Yankees came back from a 3-1 deficit with two outs in the sixth inning against Miami starter Mat Latos when rookie Mason Williams lashed his second double of the game to right-center and Brett Gardner followed by driving a 2-0 pitch to right for his sixth home run to knot the score.

The Yankees had tried to give Sabathia a big cushion with a first-inning rally that fizzled after Gardner, Chase Headley and Alex Rodriguez all singled to produce a run. A one-out walk to Brian McCann loaded the bases, but Carlos Beltran struck out and Didi Gregorius popped out to shortstop.

Sabathia followed the lead of Michael Pineda Wednesday night by retiring the Marlins in order the first time through the batting order, but unlike Pineda, who also did that a second time through the lineup, CC’s no-hit bid ended in the fourth when Dee Gordon hit a liner into the right field corner and legged out a triple. After Adeiny Hechevarria struck out, Christian Yelich grounded out to second with Gordon crossing the plate with the tying run.

The Marlins took the lead in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Jeff Mathis. In the sixth, Giancarlo Stanton clocked his 25th home run on a drive to left off a 1-0 pitch. Sabathia did not walk a batter and struck out seven, but he was looking at a possible ‘L’ before the Yanks’ two-out rally in the bottom of the sixth.

They had Latos on the ropes several times but let him wiggle free. The Yankees stranded six base runners in the first three innings and eight through five.

Beltran, who heard his share of boos from the crowd of 38,239 at Yankee Stadium when he left five runners on base combined in the first and fifth innings, got the fans on his side in the seventh when he broke the tie with a two-run home run to left off reliever Mike Dunn.

Rodriguez also singled in the fifth for his second hit of the game and career No. 2,999. He lined out to right field in the sixth and got one more at-bat in the Yanks’ four-run eighth as they pulled away toward a 9-4 victory.

Hungry to see A-Rod get his 3,000th hit, fans booed Sam Dyson heavily when he walked him on four pitches, none of which was anywhere near the strike zone. It was the second straight walk for Dyson, who ended up being charged with four earned runs in one third of an inning. McCann’s third hit of the game drove in a run as did Chris Young with a double and Stephen Drew with a sacrifice fly.

Rodriguez got payback when he scored from third base on a wild pitch.

A-Rod donates bat from 2,000th-RBI game to Hall

The National Baseball Hall of Fame received a donation from Alex Rodriguez of the bat he used Saturday to record his 2,000th career run batted in. The bat will soon arrive in Cooperstown, N.Y., and be added to the museum’s collection. Within a few weeks, the bat will be on display in the museum’s Today’s Game exhibit.

“The Baseball Hall of Fame is the definitive repository for the game’s history,” Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said. “As records, achievements and compelling stories unfold on the field, we recount them in Cooperstown through the generosity of players, teams and fans who generously donate artifacts associated with those milestones to the museum. We extend our gratitude to Alex for donating the bat he used to record his 2,000th RBI to the museum.”

Rodriguez’s 2,000th and 2,001st career RBI came on the same swing when he homered off the Orioles’ Bud Norris in the sixth inning Saturday at Camden Yards, driving in teammate Chase Headley ahead of him. Rodriguez became just the second player to reach the 2,000-RBI plateau along with all-time record holder. The RBI did not become an official statistic until 1920. Historians studying old boxscores have credited Babe Ruth with 2,214 and Cap Anson with 2,075, but those figures are considered unofficial.

The Hall of Fame’s collection contains several artifacts from Rodriguez’s 21-year big league career, including:

A bat from his 2002 season with the Texas Rangers.
His helmet from his 500th career home run in 2007.
Spikes he wore in Game 6 of the 2009 World Series.
A road jersey worn during the 2009 season.
His spikes from his 600th career home run in 2010.
A home jersey on loan from Rodriguez from his 500th career double.

Girardi spared another tough decision on Pineda

Christian Yelich did Joe Girardi a big favor Wednesday night. Michael Pineda entered the seventh inning with a no-hitter in place against the Marlins but a pitch count that had reached 94.

Considering how cautious the Yankees have been with Pineda, who had Tommy John surgery in 2013 and has not pitched more than 171 innings in professional baseball, Girardi likely would have been forced to make a difficult decision if his pitcher got too far beyond the 100-pitch limit. The manager recalled a game at the Stadium May 10 against the Orioles when he took Pineda out after seven innings when the pitcher had 16 strikeouts, two shy of Ron Guidry’s franchise record.

Yelich led off the seventh by driving Pineda’s first pitch into the Yankees’ bullpen for his fourth home run of the season. End of no-hitter. End of shutout. End of concern for Girardi about his pitcher, who retired the next two batters before coming out of the game to a standing ovation from the Yankee Stadium crowd of 43,048.

“I was in a bad spot,” Girardi conceded. “People questioned me when he had 16 strikeouts with 111 pitches. At some point I would have had to consider pulling him. You can’t let him go forever. It is not a decision you want to make, but it is one you have to make.”

Returning to his normal routine, Pineda was back to his usual self. The slider that was missing from his previous start was back with its hard bite, good enough to help produce nine strikeouts. The only two base runners prior to Yelich’s dinger were on walks, the first coming after Pineda had retired the first 11 batters in order.

Pineda’s previous start June 12 at Baltimore was on 10 days’ rest after the Yankees skipped him one turn in the rotation in an effort to conserve innings. The righthander never got into synch and was roughed up for six runs (five earned) and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings.

He was a pitcher much more in command Wednesday night. The Yankees gave him a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a two-out, RBI single by Alex Rodriguez. Carlos Beltran singled home a run in the fifth, but A-Rod was thrown out at the plate trying to get his team another run. With two singles, Rodriguez pushed his career hits total to 2,997.

As impressive as Pineda was, he was nearly stuck with a no-decision when for a couple of minutes in the eighth inning it appeared that Miami had tied the score. With runners on first and third and one out, Dee Gordon hit a chopper to first baseman Garrett Jones, whose throw to the plate was a bit high and up the line. Adeiny Hechevarria was originally ruled safe by plate umpire Dale Scott.

The Yankees called for a review. Replays indicated that catcher Brian McCann tagged Hechevarria on his left knee before his left foot hit the plate. The call was over-turned, so the score reverted to 2-1 Yankees, which held up as Dellin Betances converted a five-out save.

Pineda’s record this year improved to 8-3 with a 3.54 ERA as he continued his dominance against National League competition — 5-1 with a 1.18 ERA in 53 1/3 innings.

Teixeira’s 18th homer only support for Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka’s strong work since coming off the disabled list earlier this month continued Monday night in the Yankees’ first appearance at Miami’s Marlins Park in the opener of a home-and-away, four-game, inter-league series.

The previous two seasons, the Yankees had such series against the Mets, but that meant the two teams merely had to cross the East River after two games. This two-and-two with the Marlins has the two teams traveling all the way down and up the Eastern seaboard, another example of empty-headed scheduling.

For all of Tanaka’s sound pitching Friday night, he was done in by one pitch — a 2-0 fastball that Derek Dietrich drove to right field for his first home run of the season that unlocked a 1-1 score in the seventh inning. It held up for a 2-1 Miami victory that knocked the Yankees out of first place in the American League East to the other Florida club, the Rays, 6-1 winners over the Nationals. The Yankees had at least a share of first place for 20 straight days since May 26.

Tanaka pitched seven innings and allowed nine hits, which were pretty much scattered. He did not walk a batter and struck out six. Unfortunately, the Yankees mustered next to no offense against native New Yorker Tom Koehler other than Mark Teixeira’s 18th home run of the season, leading off the second inning.

Miami came right back against Tanaka in the bottom of the second. Dietrich, the third baseman who was recalled from Triple A New Orleans three days ago with regular Martin Prado ailing (right shoulder sprain), doubled to left with one out and scored on a single to left by Adeiny Hechavarria.

The second is a pivotal inning for the Yankees. They are 18-5 (.783) when leading after two innings and 16-24 (.400) when tied or trailing at the conclusion of the second.

Koehler also pitched seven innings and other than the Teixeira homer allowed only two other hits, both by Didi Gregorius, a single and a double. Alex Rodriguez, back in his home town, got to bat as a pinch hitter with two out in the ninth and a runner on first base but flied out to right to end the game.

The losing decision was Tanaka’s first since opening day April 6 and ended a personal four-game winning streak. In three starts since coming off the DL, the righthander is 2-1 with a 1.29 ERA in 21 innings in which he has allowed 17 hits, including four homers, with no walks and 21 strikeouts. Over his past five starts, Tanaka is 3-1 with a 2.10 ERA in 34 1/3 innings with two walks and 35 strikeouts.

The other pitching highlight of the night for the Yankees was the relief effort of Sergio Santos in the eighth inning after Jose Ramirez had loaded the bases with none out on a hit, a hit batter and a walk. Santos kept the Marlins from breaking the game open at that point with strikeouts of J.T. Realmuto and pinch hitter Marcell Ozuna and retiring Hechevarria on a fly ball to shallow right field.

The Yankees put the potential tying run on base in the ninth against Marlins closer A.J. Ramos when Brian McCann walked and was lifted for pitch runner Brendan Ryan, but Teixiera and Garrett Jones struck out before A-Rod’s lone time at the plate.

Tuesday night’s game at Marlins Park will be a matchup of pitchers traded for each other in the off-season: Nathan Eovaldi for the Yankees and David Phelps for the Marlins. Prado and Jones also were in that exchange. Ivan Nova will not return to the Yankees’ rotation this week. The club wants the righthander to make one more minor-league start on injury rehabilitation before considering returning him to the rotation.

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