A-Rod Earns Another Stadium Curtain Call

Saturday, September 2nd 2006, 1:45 pm
By: News On 6

The Yankee Stadium fans aren't booing A-Rod anymore. Alex Rodriguez homered twice and drove in three runs Friday night, earning a curtain call for the second straight game in New York's 8-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

The reigning AL MVP has been the focus of the home fans' derision for much of the season, fighting the perception that he can't come through in the clutch.

He was in a 1-for-24 slump before getting three hits Thursday against Detroit, including a home run.

After his second homer against the Twins, manager Joe Torre told the star third baseman to walk up the dugout steps and acknowledge the fans' cheers.

``Unless Joe tells me to go, it's just not my nature,'' Rodriguez said. ``I don't feel real comfortable doing that.''

But it's got to feel better than being booed.

In other AL games, it was: Boston 2, Toronto 1; Detroit 9, Los Angeles 0; Tampa Bay 2, Seattle 1; Kansas City 7, Chicago 5; Cleveland 7, Texas 2; and Oakland 5, Baltimore 4.

Rodriguez homered in the second inning off Carlos Silva (8-13) to put the Yankees ahead, had a bases-loaded single in the four-run fifth, then hit his 29th homer of the season in the seventh against Matt Guerrier. It was just the third multihomer game of the year for A-Rod, the first since July 2.

``Before it seemed like he was just seeing the ball really late, wasn't really sure what was going on,'' New York's Johnny Damon said. ``Today it seemed like he saw the pitches out of the pitcher's hand.''

Cory Lidle (3-2) allowed two hits and two walks in six scoreless innings. After hitless relief by Mike Myers, Brian Bruney and Octavio Dotel, T.J. Beam gave up an RBI double to Justin Morneau in a two-hit ninth.

New York remained a season-high eight games ahead of Boston in the AL East. Minnesota, which lost for the fourth time in five games, stayed a half-game behind Chicago in the AL wild-card race.

Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 1

At Boston, Kyle Snyder allowed two hits in seven innings and Mike Lowell homered for the second straight game to lead the Red Sox.

Snyder (4-3) struck out a career-high eight batters, allowed just two runners past first base and retired the last nine batters he faced before being replaced by Keith Foulke.

Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon ran into trouble in the ninth, leaving with runners at second and third and one out after injuring his shoulder. He thinks it's a strain and he may pitch again in a few days. Mike Timlin eventually closed out the game for his third save in nine chances.

Boston took a 1-0 lead against Ted Lilly (11-12) on Lowell's 17th homer of the year with one out in the second inning.

Tigers 9, Angels 0

At Detroit, Kenny Rogers and two relievers combined on a five-hitter in the Tigers' major league-leading 15th shutout of the season.

Omar Infante drove in two runs for AL Central-leading Detroit, which had only won two of its previous eight games.

Rogers (15-6) allowed four hits in seven innings, walking two and striking out one in winning his fourth straight start. Los Angeles starter Ervin Santana (13-7) lasted four innings, giving up five runs and seven hits.

Devil Rays 2, Mariners 1

At St. Petersburg, Fla., pinch-hitter Ty Wigginton's game-winning single with two outs in the ninth inning off George Sherrill (2-3) handed the Mariners their 12th straight road loss.

Seattle's team record for consecutive road losses is 15, set June 22-July 28, 2004. The Mariners won seven of nine during a just-completed homestand following an 0-11 road trip.

Seth McClung (5-12) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win.

Indians 7, Rangers 2

At Arlington, Texas, Grady Sizemore went 3-for-3 with a homer and Jake Westbrook (12-8) pitched seven strong innings for the Indians.

The Indians got a scare in the eighth inning when Travis Hafner left the game after he was hit on the right hand by a pitch from Rangers left-hander C.J. Wilson with the bases loaded. X-rays were negative and Hafner is day to day.

In addition to his 21st homer, Sizemore added two doubles, walked twice and drove in two runs for Cleveland, which has won eight of nine.

The Indians had eight baserunners in the first two innings against Vicente Padilla (13-9) as Cleveland took a 4-1 lead.

Royals 7, White Sox 5

At Kansas City, Mo., Mark Teahen hit a two-run homer off Jose Contreras (11-7) to highlight a six-run fourth inning and the Royals held off Chicago.

The White Sox threatened in the ninth, loading the bases twice. But Joe Crede flew out to left for the final out as rookie Joe Nelson picked up his fifth save in as many chances.

Five of the Royals' runs in the fourth were unearned thanks to three errors by the White Sox.

Royals right-hander Runelvys Hernandez (5-8), who shut out Toronto in his previous start, allowed one run and five hits over six innings.

Athletics 5, Orioles 4

At Oakland, Calif., Frank Thomas' two-run homer off Todd Williams (2-4) in the seventh inning helped the A's to their 10th straight home victory.

Mark Ellis also drove in two runs for the A's, who won their fourth straight overall and improved to 27-7 since July 25.

Brad Halsey (4-4) pitched 1 1-3 innings, giving up a pair of hits and striking out two, to gain the win. Justin Duchscherer picked up his seventh save in nine chances.