Rodriguez tries again to become the latest member of the 500-home run club on Wednesday night when the Yankees continue a three-game home series against the Chicago White Sox.
While the Yankees made history Tuesday by hitting a franchise record-tying eight home runs in a 16-3 rout of the White Sox, Rodriguez went 0-for-5 and remained stuck on 499.
A-Rod, who turned 32 Friday, is hitless in 17 at-bats since he homered at Kansas City on July 25. He’ll try to become the 22nd player in history and the youngest all-time to reach 500 homers Wednesday against Chicago’s John Danks.
Rodriguez went 0-for-4 against Danks in his only game versus the left-hander on May 16.
Despite Rodriguez’s slump, the Yankees (57-49) have 26 runs and 30 hits in their last two games.
“I’m sure if you polled everybody in baseball who didn’t see the game and saw eight home runs being hit, they would have guessed that Alex hit two or three of them,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
Hideki Matsui homered twice, and Jorge Posada, Bobby Abreu, Melky Cabrera, Johnny Damon, Robinson Cano and Shelley Duncan hit one apiece. New York pulled within three games of wild card-leading Cleveland—the closest it has been to a playoff spot since after games of April 25.
“I wish one was his,” Damon said of A-Rod, who leads the major leagues with 35 homers. “He swung the bat well tonight. Unfortunately, he didn’t have anything to show for it.”
The eight home runs matched the record set on June 28, 1939, in the opener of a doubleheader at the Philadelphia Athletics. In that game, Joe DiMaggio and Babe Dahlgren hit two each, and Bill Dickey, George Selkirk, Joe Gordon and Tommy Henrich also went deep.
While most of the focus lately has been on Rodriguez, Matsui and Cano are both swinging red-hot bats.
Matsui hit .345 (39-for-113) with a major league-leading 13 homers and 28 RBIs in 28 games in July. Cano, meanwhile, is batting .455 (30-for-66) with three home runs and 16 RBIs in his last 16 games.
After starting the season 12-13 at home, the Yankees are 21-7 in their last 28 games at Yankee Stadium.
Juan Uribe hit a three-run homer Tuesday for the White Sox (48-58), losers of four straight on the road. They have allowed 42 runs during a four-game skid at Yankee Stadium.
Danks (6-7, 4.83 ERA) looks to beat the Yankees for the second time in two starts. The left-hander was impressive in a 5-3 win over New York at U.S. Cellular Field on May 16, yielding two runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings while walking two and striking out a season high-tying seven.
Danks left without a decision in Chicago’s 4-3 victory over Detroit on Thursday, giving up three runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings. He has won three of his last four decisions, and the White Sox are 5-1 in his past six starts.
Andy Pettitte (6-7, 4.11) hopes to rebound from his first loss in five starts. The veteran left-hander allowed three runs and eight hits in seven innings Friday in a 4-2 defeat at Baltimore, his first since July 1. He has pitched well in four starts since the All-Star break, going 2-1 with a 3.51 ERA.
Pettitte is 10-8 with a 4.59 ERA in 20 starts against the White Sox, but is 1-4 with a 9.33 ERA in his last five appearances against them.