NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez hit a tiebreaking grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, lifting the New York Yankees to a 5-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Friday night at Yankee Stadium.
Rodriguez entered his pivotal at-bat against reliever George Kontos with one hit in his previous 25 at-bats and his batting average down to .255. Two pitches after missing a fastball, he sent a 92 mph fastball into the front rows of the right-center field seats.
It was Rodriguez's seventh home run since last month's return from a second hip surgery and his 24th grand slam, breaking a tie with Yankee Hall of Fame first baseman Lou Gehrig for the most all-time.
The go-ahead sequence started against San Francisco starter Tim Lincecum (10-14) when Eduardo Nunez singled up the middle. Lincecum loaded the bases by walking Ichiro Suzuki and his night ended at 121 pitches, his second-highest total of the season.
As Rodriguez's home run headed towards the stands, Lincecum watched dejectedly before television cameras caught him muttering an expletive as he headed towards the clubhouse.
Rodriguez's 654th home run and first in nine days allowed CC Sabathia to avoid falling under .500. Sabathia (14-13) exited to a standing ovation from the crowd after allowing one run and seven hits in seven-plus innings during an 107-pitch outing.
David Robertson relieved Sabathia after pinch hitter Tony Abreu led off the eighth with a base hit. Robertson got Juan Perez to hit into a double play and struck out Buster Posey looking at an inside fastball.
Mariano Rivera finished off New York's sixth win in 15 games by throwing just eight pitches in a hitless ninth during a non-save situation.
Lincecum allowed four runs and five hits over 6 2/3 innings and had a personal four-game winning streak halted.
After Sabathia escaped trouble in the opening two innings, the Yankees took a 1-0 lead when Alfonso Soriano led off the bottom of the second with his 17th home run for New York.
San Francisco tied it with one out in the third when Juan Perez delivered his second double in as many at-bats, scoring Brandon Crawford, who led off the inning with a walk. Perez was stranded at third when Sabathia retired Buster Posey on a slow ground ball to third base that forced Eduardo Nunez into making an off-balance throw.
Lincecum had full counts on half of his first 12 hitters, including Robinson Cano with two outs in the third. Cano had a chance to drive in Ichiro from third, but Lincecum blew a fastball by the Yankees second baseman.
NOTES: The Yankees held a pregame ceremony to celebrate Ichiro's 4,000th hit, which occurred last month against the Toronto Blue Jays. Ichiro donated his jersey from the game to the Baseball Hall of Fame. ... According to a report on CBSSports.com, the Giants will make qualifying offers to Lincecum and OF Hunter Pence, who both are free agents. That will allow the Giants to receive first-round picks as compensation if both sign elsewhere. ... San Francisco C Hector Sanchez took a foul ball off the left side of his mask but stayed in after the trainer briefly checked on him.