A-Rod hits 660th homer to tie Willie Mays for fourth place all-time, leads Yankees to 3-2 win over Red Sox

They booed. They chanted “Ster-oids! Ster-oids!” And then he shut them all up. With one swing of the bat Friday night, Alex Rodriguez tied Willie Mays for fourth place on the all-time list with his 660th home run, and gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead over the Red Sox at Fenway Park in the eighth inning. That score held and the Yankees eventually won 3-2. New York has now won eleven of their last 14 games. Oh baby. Let’s recap with bullet points since it’s Friday night:

  • 660: Gosh, what a moment. A-Rod did not start Friday’s game as Joe Girardi went with a lefty heavy lineup against Justin Masterson, yet he still had a big impact. The hard-throwing Junichi Tazawa fell behind in the count 3-0, and rather than simply take a pitch for the sake of taking a pitch, Rodriguez hunted a 3-0 fastball, got it, and lined a home run over the Green Monster. It was a frickin’ laser. Out of the park in a hurry. Fenway went quiet and A-Rod’s teammates mobbed him in the dugout. I would have loved to see Alex get his 660th in the Bronx, but a go-ahead blast to silence the Fenway faithful and give the Yankees a late-inning lead works fine too.
  • Just Good Enough: CC Sabathia threw the ugliest six innings of two-run ball you may ever see. He had runners on base in every inning but the first and sixth, and he got lucky breaks on two occasions with what would have been run-scoring extra-base hits — a fan reached out and touched Ryan Hanigan’s double in the fourth, so the umps sent Xander Bogaerts back to third, and Hanley Ramirez wasn’t allowed to score from first when Mike Napoli’s double hopped over the wall in the fifth. The end result was two runs on seven hits and two walks in six innings. The end result was good. Getting there was … uncomfortable.
  • Score First, Score Last: Boy the Yankees really let Masterson off the hook. Nine of the first 21 batters he faced reach base, yet the Yankees scored just one run in that time, on a first inning double by Carlos Beltran. They stranded runners on second and third in the fourth and the bases loaded in the fifth. Boston took a 2-1 lead in the middle innings and it wasn’t until Masterson was out of the game that the Yankees rallied to tie. Didi Gregorius worked a leadoff walk in the seventh, moved to second when Mark Teixeira was hit by a pitch, then scored on Brian McCann‘s single to tie the game. A-Rod did the rest.
  • Leftovers: The bullpen wasn’t great but it was good enough. Esmil Rogers walked a batter in a scoreless seventh — why he was pitching the seventh inning of a tie game, I have no idea — and Dellin Betances put two runners on base with one out in the eighth. He struck out the next two hitters. Andrew Miller tossed a perfect ninth for his ninth save … Jacoby Ellsbury (two singles), Brett Gardner (single, walk), Teixeira (two walks, hit-by-pitch), Beltran (single, double), and Gregorius (single, walk) all reached base multiple times … the Yankees went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Thanks goodness for dingers.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Also make sure you check out our Bullpen Workload and Announcer Standings pages. The Yankees and Red Sox will continue this series Saturday afternoon. It’ll be Nathan Eovaldi against Wade Miley.

Source: FanGraphs

Minor League Report: I don’t have time for a full version of DotF tonight. Sorry folks. You can find all the box scores right here though. Jake Cave and Angel Aguilar both went deep and Double-A Trenton walked off with a win in the 18th inning. 18th inning!

DotF: Mateo steals three bases in Charleston’s win

Chad Jennings was able to get some injury updates from Brian Cashman. Most notably, RHP Andrew Bailey is dealing with a shoulder strain and has been shutdown. So much for seeing him sooner rather than later. What idiot wrote that? Anyway, RHP Jared Burton (lat) is close to joining Triple-A Scranton and LHP Chris Capuano (quad) and IF Brendan Ryan (calf) are close to starting official minor league rehab stints.

Triple-A Scranton (8-7 loss to Charlotte, walk-off style)

  • 3B Jose Pirela: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 E (throwing)
  • CF Slade Heathcott: 0-3, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-5, 1 RBI, 1 K — singled in the game-tying run in the top of the ninth
  • 1B Kyle Roller: 2-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K
  • RF Tyler Austin: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
  • DH Ramon Flores: 2-4, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • C Austin Romine: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • RHP Bryan Mitchell: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 2/4 GB/FB — 45 of 79 pitches were strikes (57%)
  • LHP Jacob Lindgren: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1/2 GB/FB — 30 of 43 pitches were strikes (70%) … first time pitching since he took the line drive off his foot four days ago, so he’s fine
  • RHP Branden Pinder: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/2 GB/FB — 23 of 32 pitches were strikes (72%)
  • LHP Tyler Webb: 0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K — eight pitches, four strikes … gave up back-to-back homers to blow and save and given Charlotte the walk-off win

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DotF: Flores and Refsnyder both double in Scranton’s win

Triple-A Scranton (8-5 win over Gwinnett)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 2-5, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI — hitting .386 as a part-timer this year
  • LF Ramon Flores: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
  • RF Tyler Austin: 1-5, 2 K
  • C Austin Romine: 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B
  • RHP Kyle Davies: 5.1 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 10/3 GB/FB — 62 of 91 pitches were strikes (68%) … not a good time to have a bad outing with a rotation spot now up for grabs at the MLB level
  • RHP Nick Rumbelow: 1 IP, zeroes, 2/1 GB/FB — eight pitches, six strikes
  • RHP Jose Ramirez: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GB/FB — 15 of 20 pitches were strikes … first time in his career he’s pitched back-to-back days

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DotF: Bird and Jagielo both go deep in Trenton’s loss

Forgot to mention this yesterday: LHP Fred Lewis has been released, according to Nick Peruffo. Remember when there was talk Lewis might make the team out of camp last year? Spring Training is weird. Also, if you have a Baseball Prospectus subscription, make sure you check out this roundtable discussion about Greg Bird‘s approach and the difference between patient and passive.

Triple-A Scranton (3-2 win over Gwinnett)

  • RF Slade Heathcott: 1-4, 1 K — got picked off first
  • LF Ramon Flores: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 2-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K — 8-for-15 (.533) in his last four games
  • LHP Eric Wooten: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 Balk, 9/0 GB/FB — 51 of 76 pitchers were strikes (67%) … he figures to stay in the rotation now with Chase Whitley likely taking Masahiro Tanaka‘s spot in the Bronx
  • RHP Danny Burawa: 2 IP, zeroes, 2 K, 3/0 GB/FB — 16 of 21 pitches were strikes (76%)
  • RHP Jose Ramirez: 1 IP, zeroes, 2 K, 0/1 GB/FB — eight of 14 pitches were strikes (57%)

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DotF: Refsnyder, Bird, and Jagielo all double in losses

Check out this John DeMarzo article on 1B Kyle Roller and the adjustments he made prior to his monster 2014 season. The adjustments were more mental than physical.

Triple-A Scranton (6-5 loss to Gwinnett, walk-off style) they faced old pal LHP Manny Banuelos, who allowed four runs in six innings

  • CF Slade Heathcott: 2-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB
  • DH Rob Refsnyder: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI
  • RF Tyler Austin: 0-4, 1 K — got picked off first
  • C Austin Romine: 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K — four hits in his last 26 at-bats (.158)
  • RHP Jaron Long: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 8/4 GB/FB — 46 of 72 pitches were strikes (64%) … 17 runs on 28 hits in 20.2 innings at Triple-A
  • LHP Tyler Webb: 2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 3/0 GB/FB — 29 of 37 pitches were strikes (78%)
  • RHP Branden Pinder: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 12 of 16 pitches were strikes (75%)
  • RHP Nick Rumbelow: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1/1 GB/FB — half of his 16 pitches were strikes

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DotF: Pirela begins rehab assignment, Judge and Bird hit back-to-back homers in Trenton’s win

UTIL Jose Pirela has been added to the High-A Tampa roster, the team announced. This officially kicks off his 20-day minor league rehab window. Also, RHP Andrew Bailey was assigned to Extended Spring Training. Not sure what’s going on there.

Triple-A Scranton (8-3 win over Pawtucket)

  • CF Slade Heathcott: 2-4, 2 R, 1 BB — on base 14 times in his last six games with zero strikeouts
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 3-5, 1 R, 1 RBI — 5-for-8 (.625) after an 0-for-15 slump
  • 1B Kyle Roller: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K
  • RF Tyler Austin: 0-4, 1 BB — in a 4-for-32 (.125) slump
  • C Austin Romine: 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 PB
  • LHP Matt Tracy: 3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HB, 5/3 GB/FB — 31 of 45 pitches were strikes (69%) … this is only his second appearance of the year because he’d been stuck in DFA limbo for a while
  • RHP Joel De La Cruz: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 6/1 GB/FB — 27 of 42 pitches were strikes (64%)
  • LHP Jacob Lindgren: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GB/FB — nine of 17 pitches were strikes (53%) … left the game after being hit by a comebacker in the leg, according to Donnie Collins … he wasn’t limping and it appeared to be precautionary
  • RHP Danny Burawa: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 15 of 21 pitches were strikes (71%)

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DotF: Avelino stays hot in Charleston’s win

Triple-A Scranton (4-1 loss to Pawtucket)

  • CF Slade Heathcott: 0-3, 1 E (fielding)
  • DH Ramon Flores: 1-3, 1 K
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 0-3, 1 K, 2 E (fielding, throwing) — that’s seven errors in 14 games after 12 errors in 122 games last year
  • LF Tyler Austin: 0-2, 1 K
  • RHP Bryan Mitchell: 7 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 11/6 GB/FB — 62 of 99 pitches were strikes … great start, too bad his defense didn’t cooperate

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