Joba Chamberlain looked sharp, pitching six strong innings and only giving up two runs on six strikeouts. He would have to settle with a no decision after Phil Coke gave up a game tying homer to Justin Morneau in the eighth.
Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless ninth and 10th inning and Alfredo Aceves pitched a perfect inning in the 11th to give the heart of the order a shot to win it.
Due up in the bottom of the inning was Teixeira, Rodriguez, and Swisher. Nick Swisher wouldn't have to bat.
Mark Teixeira singled to start off the inning, to go 4-4 on the day with the three run homer earlier in the game.
Enter, Alex Rodriguez.
He was slumping as of late, 0-3 heading into his 11th inning at bat. To his credit, he has been drawing a lot of walks.
After Rodriguez took an inside strike looking, left hander Craig Breslow decided to throw one right down the middle. A-Rod made him pay.
Rodriguez hit a long fly ball to left, left fielder Jason Kubel gave it a look, but slowly started to walk towards the Twins dugout.
A flip of his bat and with fists high in the air, A-Rod ended the game on one swing to an erupting Bronx cheer for the Yankees slugger.
The team was waiting for him at home plate just like they have been waiting for him for over a month. A moment for Alex, long overdue in my opinion. Shut them up with your bat and enjoy the game.
“I gave you guys something to talk about and write about in the 11th inning, and I didn’t have to open my mouth,” Rodriguez told reporters in the clubhouse. “That’s kind of the way I want things. Stay out of my own way.”
New Yankees pitcher AJ Burnett slammed a pie in A-Rod's face during his post-game interview with YES Network's Kim Jones.
A-Rod's big moment doesn't overshadow the fact that Teixeira looks like he is starting to feel it again after taking a day off from first and playing at DH on Saturday.
“Mark and I, we’re going to make a good team,” Rodriguez said. “More often than not, if he doesn’t get you, I will.”
On this day, Rodriguez was one of the boys and nothing else mattered but a 6-4 Yankees win.
The Yankees have won four straight now and are two games above .500, four and a half games out of first in the AL East.
Up next is a Sunday afternoon game against the Twins, AJ Burnett (2-1, 5.36 ERA) will take on the Twins pitcher Kevin Slowey (5-1, 4.91 ERA).
MLB.com contributed on the quotes.
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