NEW YORK (AP) – Alex Rodriguez reached 2,999 hits with a pair of singles, and Carlos Beltran and Brett Gardner each had two-run homers, leading the New York Yankees to a 9-4 victory over the Miami Marlins on Thursday night.
Rodriguez hit an RBI single in the first inning for the second straight night, flied out to right field in the third and hit a sharp grounder past diving third baseman Donovan Solano in the fifth to move within one hit of becoming the 29th player to reach the 3,000 plateau.
He lined out in the sixth, his first try at the milestone – swinging at specially marked balls.
Yankee Stadium played a piece of Beethoven’s famed Symphony No. 5 as Rodriguez came to bat in the eighth with nearly all of the 38,239 cheering fans rising to their feet, camera phones flashing. But Miami reliever Sam Dyson didn’t give A-Rod a chance to swing, throwing four inside pitches that sent the slugger leaping back each time.
The boos got louder with each pitch and turned to vulgar chants aimed at Dyson that lasted until he was lifted three batters later, following Chris Young’s RBI double.
The Yankees made every effort to get Rodriguez one more shot at the milestone, sending six men to the plate after his walk. Brian McCann had an RBI single and Stephen Drew added a sacrifice fly in the inning.
Gardner’s longball chased Mat Latos in the sixth to tie it at 3, and Beltran, who was booed when he popped out to end the sixth, put New York ahead with a drive to left an inning later off reliever Mike Dunn (1-4) and rounded the bases to loud applause.
CC Sabathia gave up three runs in six effective innings, allowing Giancarlo Stanton’s major league-leading 25th homer, as the Yankees won for their ninth time in their last 10 home games.
Chasen Shreve (4-1) gave up a hit in one inning for the win.
With A-Rod in the lineup as the designated hitter, the Yankees won the final two games of a four-game, home-and-home series that began in Miami. The three-time MVP was limited to one pinch-hit at-bat in two losses at the NL ballpark.
The 39-year-old Rodriguez, back from a one-year drug suspension, spent the early part of his day at the park across the street on the site of the old Yankee Stadium, helping Major League Baseball usher in a new initiative called “Play Ball” meant to encourage kids to compete in the game in its many configurations. He eagerly played catch and pitched Wiffle balls to local youths with Commissioner Rob Manfred, teammate Dellin Betances, and Stanton and fellow Marlins star Dee Gordon.
Manfred, who as Bud Selig’s No. 2 clashed with Rodriguez during the slugger’s appeal of his ban, was grateful for the star’s participation.
“I think Alex has tried really hard to make a smooth and successful re-entry to the game,” Manfred said. “Alex went through a very difficult period. He was gone for a year, he went through that. He’s a major league player.”
A night after being no-hit into the seventh by Michael Pineda, Gordon tripled for Miami’s first hit off Sabathia leading off the seventh. He scored on Christian Yelich’s groundout to tie it 1-all.
The Marlins then went ahead in the fifth on Jeff Mathis’ sacrifice fly. Stanton’s homer to left field in the sixth made it 3-1.
Stanton has 13 homers in his last 23 games.
In his second start since coming off the disabled, Latos gave up nine hits and three runs in 5 2/3 innings.
Marlins: INF Martin Prado (right shoulder) was put on the DL, retroactive to June 15. Manager Dan Jennings said Prado worked out in Florida, but is still too sore. … RHP Jarred Cosart (vertigo) is going to make one more rehab start before a likely return to the Marlins, for Double-A Jacksonville on Sunday at Chattanooga.
Yankees: CF Jacoby Ellsbury (knee) ran from first to third several times during batting practice. It was first thought that Ellsbury would go to the Yankees’ complex in Florida for rehab after the series in Miami, but he returned to New York with the team. Manager Joe Girardi said it was not a setback.
Marlins: RHP Dan Haren (6-3) faces the Reds. He has struggled at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, with a 5.59 ERA in six games, five starts.
Yankees: RHP Adam Warren (4-4) starts against the Detroit Tigers. Warren has a 2.81 ERA in his four losses.
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