"Pressure pushing down on me, pressing down on you no man ask for"
- Queen/David Bowie "Under Pressure" (1981)
New York Yankees' third baseman Alex Rodriguez did not ask for the spotlight on Friday night against the Minnesota Twins. Instead, it was given to him.
Trailing the Twins 4-3 in the seventh inning, Mark Teixeira was intentionally walked with runners on second and third with no out, planning the batter coming up would hit into a inning ending double play.
That guy was A-Rod, and boy were they wrong.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire opted to go with a right-handed sinkerball pitcher named Matt Guerrier to attempt to end the Yankees rally. That wasn't the case.
Going into the at-bat Rodriguez was 4 for 6 lifetime against Guerrier with three home runs. Also, in the past two years, with the bases loaded intentionally to get to him, Rodriguez was 3 for 3 with a home run and 10 rbi.
Little did he need to, Rodriguez proved once again that he can get in the clutch and testing him is probably not the best option.
“That’s why I hit fourth,” A-Rod said. “My team is expecting me to get big hits in those type of situations.”
The home run was his 19th career slam, which ranks third all-time behind Manny Ramirez (23) and Lou Gehrig (24). It was his fourth of the season and moved him to sole possesion of seventh place on the all-time list with 587 blasts. He passed Frank Robinson who had 586. Up next on the list is Sammy Sosa with 609.
The Yankees took a 7-4 lead and tacked on one more run before winning the game. With the Tampa Bay Rays loss to the Seattle Mariners at Tropicana Field, the Yankees moved within one game of first place headed into the weekend.