A-Rod hits 1st homer of season
NEW YORK (AP)
Alex Rodriguez homered for the first time since he returned last week from offseason hip surgery and being suspended 211 games for performance-enhancing drug use.
Starting at third base and batting fourth a day after being held out of the lineup, A-Rod connected on Justin Verlander's second pitch of the second inning Sunday for his 648th career homer. It was the New York Yankees third baseman's 16th at-bat this season and first long ball since Sept. 14.
Rodriguez is playing while he appeals the ban Major League Baseball handed out as a result of its investigation into the now-closed Florida anti-aging clinic.
The hit was his first off a right-hander in 25 at-bats. Rodriguez was 0 for 18 against righties during a dreadful postseason.
The three-time AL MVP was given a mixed reception when he came to the plate leading off the second. He sent a soaring fly that landed several rows back in left field and rounded the bases to a loud ovation.
The RBI was the 1,951st of Rodriguez's career, moving him past Stan Musial for fifth all-time. Rodriguez drove in a second run with a single down the first base line in the third. A-Rod stood in the batter's box, thinking the ball was foul, before jogging to first base.
He also made three nice plays in the field, one to start a double play, and was given an error on Victor Martinez's slow roller that Rodriguez ran in for but couldn't scoop with his glove.