The villain of MLB got a bit of revenge on Sunday night.
New York Yankees third basemen Alex Rodriguez launched a towering home run off Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster in the sixth inning after he had been plunked earlier in the game, propelling the Yankees to a 9-6 win and series victory over their archrivals. A-Rod batted 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI on the night.
ESPN Stats & Info put the moonshot into context:
With the Red Sox leading the Yankees 2-0 in the second inning of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball showcase, Dempster threw four consecutive pitches inside on A-Rod. Rodriguez had to jump out of the way to avoid his first offering, and then finally took his base on Dempster’s fourth attempt.
Home plate umpire Brian O’Nora quickly warned both benches, but Dempster wasn’t ejected. This infuriated Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who sprinted onto the field to defend his player.
Ultimately, Girardi was ejected, but the Yankees got the last laugh on the scoreboard. With the win New York is now 7.5 games back of Boston for first in the AL East, and 6.0 games back of the second wild-card position, currently held by the Oakland Athletics.
Girardi had some candid remarks regarding Dempster after the game (via Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York and David Lennon of Newsday):
Bryan Hoch of MLB.com had a gem of a quote from A-Rod:
It hasn’t been smooth sailing for the poster child of the Biogenesis saga, with ESPN’s T.J. Quinn and Pedro Gomez breaking the news in the middle of the game that A-Rod helped foot the bill for Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch’s lawyer (thereby allegedly tampering with the investigation). Rodriguez is currently appealing a 211-game suspension handed out by the league.
But for one night, Rodriguez can go to sleep with a smile on his face.