A-Rod's Blast Helps Yankees Avoid Sweep

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A-Rod's Blast Helps Yankees Avoid Sweep
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Hitting a home run with the game tied has all of a sudden become commonplace for Alex Rodriguez.

With the scored tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Alex Rodriguez hit a go-ahead, two-run home run to lift New York to a 4-2 win over Seattle Thursday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

It was the second time in less than a week that Rodriguez allotted the Yankees a lead with a home run. His sixth inning blast last Friday in Los Angeles was the difference in the Yankees 2-1 win over the Dodgers.

New York ended a two-game losing streak and avoided their first three-game series sweep of the season. Seattle missed a chance to sweep the Yankees in New York for the first time since May 3-5, 2002.

After Seattle tied the game in the top of the eighth, Mark Teixeira singled with one out in the bottom half of the inning. Rodriguez then sent a high fastball from Mariners closer David Aardsma over the right field wall for his 12th home run of the season. It was also his 595th career home run.

Rodriguez’s home run allowed CC Sabathia to improve to 10-3.. Sabathia allowed two runs on five hits over eight innings while striking out four and walking two.

Sabathia improved to 11-0 in his last 15 regular season starts at Yankee Stadium. Seattle was the last team to hand Sabathia a home loss on July 2, 2009. Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect ninth for his 18th save.

Despite entering the game with a 1-7 record and a 6.18 ERA, Ryan Rowland-Smith pitched effectively for six innings and received a no decision. He limited the Yankees to two runs on five hits while striking out two and walking three. Aardsma (0-5), who entered the game with a career 7.94 ERA against the Yankees, suffered the loss in relief.

After being shutout on Wednesday, the Yankees scored quickly off of Rowland-Smith. Derek Jeter led off with an infield single, and Nick Swisher followed with a double. Jeter eventually scored on Teixeira’s RBI grounder.

New York extended their lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth on Robinson Cano’s solo home run over the right center field wall. It was his team-leading 16th home run.

Seattle managed to tie the game in the top of the eighth. With runners at first and second and two outs, a passed ball by Jorge Posada allowed the runners to move up a base. Russell Branyan followed with a two-run single to right, tying the contest at 2-2.

New York will welcome Toronto to Yankee Stadium on Friday for a three-game holiday weekend series. A.J. Burnett, (6-7, 5.25) who was 0-5 in the month of June, will start for the Yankees. The Blue Jays will counter with Brett Cecil (7-5, 4.39). Toronto won two of three from New York last month at Rogers Centre. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. ET.

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