Five Yankees crossed home plate Friday night against the Rays and Alex Rodriguez was responsible for four of them. New York's designated hitter launched a 471-foot homer in the 2nd inning to give the Yankees an early 1-0 lead before launching another bomb, this time a two-run shot, to tie the game. The multi-homer game was Alex's first since May 23, 2012. Rodriguez's brilliant night didn't end there. With the game tied at 4-4, Rodriguez gave the Yankees the lead for good after he singled to bring home pinch runner Brett Gardner. Gardner ran for Carlos Beltran and picked up his first stolen base of the young 2015 season.
The only run that Rodriguez's bat wasn't responsible for came when Stephen Drew launched the 100th homer of his career in the 4th inning that made it 2-0. That particular lead was short-lived, however, when Adam Warren served up a three-run home run to Allan Dykstra immediately followed by a solo shot from Logan Forsythe. Warren gave up six hits in four innings and walked two batters. Even though the bullpen was forced to get more outs than anyone would like, they managed to hold the line until the offense came through. Esmil Rogers pitched 2.1 innings giving up only one walk before Justin Wilson came on to get the final out of the inning. Dellin Betances worked one inning before giving way to Andrew Miller, who is obviously being used as the closer even if Joe Girardi refuses to call him that. Miller got four outs and struck out three batters for some major domination.
No hitters outside of Rodriguez, Drew, and Beltran picked up a hit. That isn't exactly what you want to see, but Rodriguez made up for it in this instance. The team also managed to make no errors in the game, although that might have been more thanks to home cooking by the official scorer than clean fielding. It's still sort of rough out there. Today belongs to Alex Rodriguez, though. He's undeniably the team's best hitter right now. It's a lot easier to love him when he's carrying the offense, and hopefully the Steinbrenners realize that as he closes in on the home run milestone bonus that they want to fight. He's been a bright spot in an otherwise underwhelming lineup so far in 2015. Give the man his money.
The Yankees send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound tomorrow night against Rays starter Jake Odorizzi. Tomorrow's game will start at 7:05 pm, so adjust your Saturday plans accordingly.