A-Rod Sets Record, as Yankees Host, and Beat Giants at Home For First Time In a Decade • Latino Sports

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A-Rod Sets Record, as Yankees Host, and Beat Giants at Home For First Time In a Decade

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Yankee Stadium, the Bronx- The defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants made their long awaited trip to the Bronx, their first such visit since 2002, and their first tour of the New Yankee Stadium since it opened its doors back in the 2009 season.

The result of the first game in a set of three between old rivals was not much different than those of yesteryear, with the New York Yankees taking Friday night’s game for a 5-1 win off an Alex Rodriguez grand slam home run in the bottom of the seventh inning off Giants’ reliever George Kontos.

“That part of the ballpark where he [Rodriguez] hit it, if you hit it up, it’s probably gone…in our ballpark probably out,” said San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy on the game-winning homer.

Tim Lincecum started the game for San Francisco, and besides having surrendered a solo-shot home run to Alfonso Soriano in the bottom of the second inning that provided the Bombers with an early 1-0 lead, Lincecum was cruising until the seventh rolled along.

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, the game began to unravel for Lincecum.

Newly acquired Yankees’ shortstop Brendan Ryan was hit by a pitch, and rookie catcher J.R. Murphy beat out the end of a potential double-play with a fielders-choice to safely reach first base. Lincecum then proceeded to walk Yankees’ right-fielder Ichiro Suzuki, loading the bases for Rodriguez.

“Just tough to watch, tough to put someone in that position,” said Lincecum. “Did pretty good on the previous two at-bats against him,” commented Lincecum on weheter or not he thought he should have stayed in to face Rodriguez for a third time.

At 121 pitches, Lincecum [10-14] was done for the evening, and Kontos entered needing only to get Rodriguez out to keep the contest tied at 1-1.

The first pitch to Rodriguez was a fastball down and away, the count at 1-0.

The second pitch was a nasty cutter also down in the zone that Rodriguez chased and missed, evening the count at 1-1.

A third pitch slider that missed out of the zone gave Rodriguez the edge he needed for a 2-1 count, as Kontos returned with the fastball on the fourth pitch of the at-bat that Rodriguez slammed over the auxiliary scoreboard in right-field for his seventh home run of the season, his 24th grand slam of his career, putting the Yankees ahead 5-1.

Rodriguez now owns the Major League record for grand slams, having passed former Yankee great Lou Gehrig who had previously held the mark with 23. The grand slam was also Rodriguez’s 14th as a Yankee, helping him his pass Joe DiMaggio’s 13 for sole possession of first place on the Yankees’ all-time list.

“It means I’m getting old,” said the 38 year old Rodriguez on owning both grand slam records. “It’s hard to think about things like that right now. We’re really on a sprint to the end here and every win is huge for us.”

A somber, but engaging Kontos spoke about the grand slam he gave up, saying, ” I thought it was a good pitch…he [Rodriguez] was just lingering to get it. I make the perfect pitch, [and] maybe he still gets it. Thing I’m most upset about is Timmy [Lincecum] had three runners on, and I have to get him out. Doesn’t matter who ‘he’ is.”

The Giants scored their only run of the game off Yankees’ starter CC Sabathia in the top of the third inning. Center-fielder Juan Perez of the Bronx, who finished 2-for-4, hit an RBI double that scored Brandon Crawford from second base that tied the game at 1-1.

Sabathia earned the win to up his record to 14-13, going seven innings, giving up one earned run off seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts.

“Unbelievable — especially at that moment. He came up big for us again,” Sabathia said of Rodriguez. “Hopefully we can just keep getting big hits like that and keep winning games.”

Notes: Prior to the game, Ichiro was honored once more for his 4,000th career hit, as his jersey worn that day will be sent to Cooperstown, New York to be placed in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Ichiro was given a crystal vase with his accomplishment engraved, as a video of his big hits both in Japan and in the Major’s was shown on the scoreboard monitor.

Yankees’ announcer John Sterling, in the midst of his 25th season broadcasting over the radio, was honored for his longevity with some luggage and a trip to an European destination of his choosing, the trip he has always wanted.

The Latino Baseball Hall of Fame, based in the Dominican Republic honored its 2013 inductees, including Moises Alou amongst other notables. For more information please visit: SalonDelaFamaDelBeisbolLatino.com. Prior to the game, Yankees’ starting pitcher Andy Pettitte called it a career by announcing that he will retire at the end of the season…

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