Only a few hours after undergoing an MRI on his sprained right ankle, Alex Rodriguez ripped two home runs in one inning as the Yankees exploded for eight runs in the seventh to rout the Seattle Mariners, 10-2, in the rubber match of a crucial three-game set.
The win strengthened
Rodriguez was scratched from his original starting position of third base and stayed in the lineup as the designated hitter because of lingering pain in his right ankle, which he hurt sliding into third in Tuesday's win. He took an MRI on the ankle before the game, which showed a sprain, an injury that apparently had little affect on his swing as he upped his total to a major league-best 48 homers.
Phil Hughes pitched six strong innings, holding the Mariners to two runs on five hits with six strikeouts, and Joba Chamberlain (1-0) earned his first career win for pitching a perfect seventh for the Yankees, who won the last two of the series by a combined score of 22-5 after dropping the opener 7-1.
Jarrod Washburn (9-13) saw his good night go to waste, as he departed after six-plus innings. His final line was three runs -- two earned -- on three hits, though, and five
The game was lining up to be a taught pitchers' duel before the Yankees exploded for eight runs in the seventh. Rodriguez led off by blasting a 3-2 pitch over the wall in left, tying the game at 2-2. Jose Lopez then misplayed Robinson Cano's grounder, prompting Mariners manager John McLaren to go to the bullpen. Shelley Duncan laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runner up, but reliever George Sherrill issued free passes to Jason Giambi and Wilson Betemit, loading the bases with one out.
Sean Green came on for
"I definitely couldn't play the field," said Rodriguez of his ankle. "Hopefully over the next few days it gets a little better."
Cano then walked, bringing on Rick White, the sixth Mariners pitcher of the inning, who got
"Washburn was throwing a great game," said McLaren. "It was a big game for us and we didn't get it done."
Ibanez's two-run homer in the third gave the Mariners the early lead, but Jose Molina's solo shot, his first of the year, with one out in the home half, made it a 2-1 game.