Yankees 14, Angels 9
NEW YORK (AP)—A little rest did a lot of good for Alex Rodriguez.
A-Rod rejoined the Yankees’ lineup and showed off All-Star form Friday night, hitting a home run that tied him with Lou Gehrig on the career list and leading New York to a wild 14-9 win over the Los Angeles Angels.
A day after a strained left hamstring forced him to miss his only game this year, Rodriguez connected. He leads the majors with 29 home runs and 82 RBIs, and his 493rd homer matched Gehrig and Fred McGriff for 22nd place.
“It is tight. It’s going to be like this for a little bit,” Rodriguez said. “Hopefully, I’ll manage it.”
Rodriguez also singled and doubled, ending his season-worst 0-for-19 slump. He scored three runs and made a couple of nifty plays at third base.
“He probably needed that day,” manager Joe Torre said.
Rodriguez said he will decide after Saturday’s game whether he’s OK to play in the All-Star game Tuesday night. He was the leading vote-getter in fan balloting.
“I want to get one more game under my belt,” he said.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia had a playful suggestion for Rodriguez.
“I think he needs a couple of days off. He didn’t look like he was moving too good and I definitely think he needs tomorrow and Sunday off to get ready for the All-Star game,” he said.
The Yankees overcame a bizarre play on the bases and a blown five-run lead to beat the only AL team to hold an edge over them since Torre became their manager in 1996.
New York set season highs for runs and hits (19)—every starter had a hit and an RBI—and won for the fourth time in five games. The AL West leaders have lost seven of 10.
“It’s about the most unlikely thing you’ll see,” Torre said. “All of a sudden, you look up and a bunch of runs are being scored.”
Plus, one that didn’t count.
Robinson Cano was called out for missing third base on Miguel Cairo’s apparent two-run triple in the fifth. Umpire Doug Eddings—best known for the odd, dropped-third-strike call in the 2005 AL championship series—made the rare ruling that ended the inning, literally taking a run off the scoreboard and leaving the Yankees ahead 9-5.
Replays were inconclusive about whether Cano missed the base, but clearly showed Eddings and third baseman Chone Figgins watching closely.
“Obviously, you have to be 100 percent sure to make that call,” Eddings said. “I was.”
“I wouldn’t say he missed it by inches, but he clearly did,” he said. “My only responsibility on that play is to watch the base. As soon as he went past, Figgins started calling for the ball.”
Figgins was the one who stepped on third to record the out, doing it while Cairo was standing on the base and “Triple” flashed on the scoreboard.
“I touched the corner of the base,” Cano insisted. He said it was the first time he’d ever been called out for missing a bag.
Cairo was credited with an RBI single. As Torre argued with Eddings, a groundskeeper changed the base to a bright, new one.
Rodriguez’s two-run homer made it 12-9.
Pettitte failed to hold an 8-3 lead and Ramirez won in relief despite giving up Figgins’ tying hit. Ramirez is a former Angels minor leaguer who made a splash this week by striking out the side in his big league debut; this was his second game in the majors.
Ramirez got the souvenir ball and lineup card. Despite all the back-and-forth scoring, he realized his special place.
“I knew I was the winner,” he said.
Rodriguez picked on a familiar victim early, getting two hits off Colon. A-Rod is 22-for-47 (.468) with eight home runs against the righty.
Colon and Pettitte each have won just one of their last eight starts. … The Yankees are 53-58 against the Angels in the Torre era. … Angels 2B Maicer Izturis made the play of the night. The Angels 2B backhanded Jorge Posada’s grounder up the middle and flipped the ball with his glove to SS Orlando Cabrera, who completed a double play to end the sixth.