A-Rod Homers Twice, But Yankees Lose

Tuesday, April 24th 2007, 7:26 am

By: News On 6

If the Yankees are going to start winning, Alex Rodriguez might have to homer three or four times a game.

For the second time in four games, A-Rod homered twice in a Yankees' loss. Rodriguez tied Albert Pujols' major league record of 14 April homers, but the Tampa Bay Devil Rays beat New York 10-8 Monday night and sent the Yankees to their fourth straight defeat.

``This obviously is a tough time for us, but it's a long season. We've got to keep working ourselves out of it,'' Rodriguez said after the Yankees' fourth consecutive loss on a five-game road trip that ends Tuesday night. ``We need a win in the worst way. Again, I think hard work and grinding through it and supporting your teammates are the most important things.''

Rocco Baldelli hit a three-run homer off Kei Igawa (1-1) in the second. B.J. Upton lined a solo shot off the left-field foul pole in the fourth for a 5-3 lead, then added a three-run double against Luis Vizcaino in the seventh to finish with a career-high four RBIs.

``Against this team with their lineup, you've really got to hunker down inning by inning because they're going to keep coming at you,'' Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ``They're never out of the game, and it's never comfortable.''

In other games it was Chicago 7, Kansas City 4; Toronto 7, Boston 3; Detroit 9, Los Angeles 5; Oakland 6, Baltimore 5; Seattle 5, Texas 4; and Cleveland 7, Minnesota 3.

At St. Petersburg, Rodriguez was 4-for-5 with three RBIs and four runs, raising his average to .400. The second-inning solo shot off Casey Fossum (2-1) was the 477th of A-Rod's career and extended his hitting streak to 23 games dating to last season. The two-run shot off Al Reyes in the ninth gave him a major league-high 34 RBIs.

``It's easier to say `Wow' when we're winning games,'' he said.

White Sox 7, Royals 4

In his first start since last week's no-hitter against Texas, Mark Buehrle (2-0) allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings at Kansas City.

Paul Konerko, who had not homered since opening day, hit a pair of two-run homers and drove in five runs for the White Sox.

Bobby Jenks worked the ninth for his seventh save, retiring David DeJesus on a game-ending, double-play grounder with two on. Jimmy Gobble (0-1) was the loser.

Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 3

Frank Thomas hit his 490th homer, a go-ahead, two-run drive off Tim Wakefield (2-2) in the sixth at Fenway Park.

Aaron Hill had four hits, including a two-run homer in the ninth, as Toronto ended a five-game losing streak and stopped Boston's five-game winning streak. Hill has four homers in 19 games after getting six in 155 last year.

Tomo Ohka (1-2) allowed three runs _ two earned _ and six hits in five-plus innings for his first win in eight starts since Aug. 24 against Colorado. Jason Frasor, filling in for injured closer B.J. Ryan, got his second save.

Tigers 9, Angels 5

Curtis Granderson led off the game with a homer, and Ivan Rodriguez hit a pair of two-out RBI singles for visiting Detroit.

Jason Grilli (2-1) pitched 2 1-3 hitless innings in relief of Mike Maroth, who was pulled by manager Jim Leyland with an 8-3 lead after 4 2-3 inning because he had thrown 105 pitches.

Jered Weaver (0-2) threw 70 pitches in 1 2-3 innings and retired only five of 14 batters, allowing seven runs _ five earned _ and seven hits.

Gary Matthews Jr. led off the ninth against Joel Zumaya with his first home run for the Angels.

Athletics 6, Orioles 5

Nick Swisher homered twice, including a drive that sparked a five-run fourth against Erik Bedard (3-2) as visiting Oakland ended Baltimore's four-game winning streak.

Swisher hit a two-run homer in the fourth and added a solo shot against Danys Baez in the ninth.

Dan Haren (2-2) allowed one run and five hits in seven innings to lower his ERA to an AL-best 1.41. Huston Street allowed an RBI single to Brian Roberts in the ninth, then retired Miguel Tejada on a bases-loaded groundout for his fifth save.

Mariners 5, Rangers 4

Ichiro Suzuki had three hits, including a three-run triple, as visiting Seattle stopped a six-game losing streak.

Brandon Morrow (1-0) pitched 3 1-3 innings of one-hit shutout relief for his first major league victory, and J.J. Putz got four outs for his first save of the season.

Kevin Millwood (2-3) allowed five runs and 10 hits in six-plus innings.

Indians 7, Twins 3

Ryan Garko drove in the go-ahead run for the second straight game, blooping a soft single in the 12th at the Metrodome.

Travis Hafner, who matched his career high with four hits, started the 12th with a walk against Jesse Crain (0-1). Jason Michaels followed Garko's hit with an RBI double, and Shin-Soo Choo added a two-run single off Joe Nathan.

Roberto Hernandez (2-1) pitched two scoreless innings.

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