The situation again for Alex Rodriguez at Yankee Stadium Monday afternoon was a tight ballgame in the seventh inning. Cleveland Indians manager Manny Acta, with his team trailing 2-1 decides to intentionally walk Mark Teixeira and load the bases.
Next up, it’s A-Rod and a grand slam home run. That opened up the game and paved the way for the Yankees and starter Andy Pettitte to take the final game of a four-game series, 11-2 from the last place Indians of the AL Central division.
For Rodriguez it was his seventh home run of the season, and 20th career grand slam. More so he is now 5-for-5 with a walk, three home runs, a sacrifice fly, and has 18 RBI in seven plate appearances after Teixeira has been intentionally walked to load the bases in front of him.
“At 3-0 on Mark, it wasn’t very difficult at all,” said Acta about his decision to walk Teixeira and get to A-Rod in the situation. “We didn’t want to take a chance and wanted to set up a double play possibility with Alex. By the time it got to 3-1, a hitter like Alex knew what was coming and he didn’t miss it.”
And it was a huge home run to deep center field off Cleveland relief pitcher Chris Perez, 590th of his career. Rodriguez has had the hitter before him intentionally walked to load the bases 16 times in his career and has now hit three home runs in those situations.
“It felt good coming into that situation especially in a close game,” said Rodriguez about the grand slam which followed with a curtain call from the 44,796 sun drenched Memorial Day fans in the Bronx. “One thing I was trying to do was get the job done with men on base,” he said.
A-Rod had a season high three hits and six runs batted in. The six RBI were the most by a Yankee this season. He also had a two-run double to right-center in the eighth inning as the Yankees scored three more runs.
“They’re both getting much closer,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi about Teixeira, his number three hitter and A-Rod at clean-up when it comes to knocking in runs. “When these two guys get it together we put a lot of runs on the board,” he said.
e-mail Rich Mancuso Ring786@aol.com