Yankees DH Alex Rodiguez entered Sunday’s game against the Mariners hitting a paltry .100 over his first 35 plate appearances, and hadn’t recorded a hit since homering off of Mike Pelfrey on April 9. The slide forced manager Joe Girardi to drop Rodriguez to sixth in the lineup, but the veteran responded in a big way.
With a runner on first base and no outs in the second inning, Rodriguez swung at a first-pitch fastball from Hisashi Iwakuma and deposited it deep into the stands in left field, giving the Yankees a 2-1 lead. It’s the 689th home run of his career, inching him closer to Babe Ruth (714) for third place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard.
Rodriguez finished 1-for-4 on the afternoon. The Yankees are off Monday, then continue their homestand with a three-game series against the Athletics starting on Tuesday.
2019 has not been kind to the Seattle Mariners. After starting the year 13-2, the club has gone 41-71 since, earning last place in the AL West. To give credit where credit is due, however, the Mariners were on something of a roll, entering Wednesday afternoon’s series road trip finale against the Rays on a four-game winning streak. However, the M’s lost Wednesday’s contest in very depressing fashion.
Entering the top of the ninth inning, the Mariners trailed the Rays 5-3, but a solo homer by Daniel Vogelbach and a two-run triple by Mallex Smith sent them into the bottom half of the ninth leading 6-5. Manager Scott Servais sent Matt Magill — acquired from the Twins exactly one month ago — to the mound to close out the game.
Kevin Kiermaier greeted Magill rudely, starting the inning by swatting a game-tying solo home run to center field. Magill would then allow a single to Willy Adames and a double to Michael Brosseau before intentionally walking Ji-Man Choi to load the bases with no outs. Tommy Pham worked the count to 1-2 when Magill spiked a breaking ball in the dirt that catcher Omar Narváez had little hope of corralling. The ball skipped away and the Rays walked off 7-6 winners on a wild pitch, a very on-brand sentence for the 2019 Mariners.