NEW YORK (AP) -- Now that Alex Rodriguez's slump is over, he
Rodriguez hit two more homers Sunday and drove in five runs, and
Darrell Rasner pitched six impressive innings for his first major
league win to lead the New York Yankees past the Minnesota Twins
Going into Thursday, A-Rod was in a 1-for-24 skid that left fans
booing him at Yankee Stadium again. Since then, he's hit five
homers in four days -- and he almost certainly would have had
another one if not for a fierce wind on Saturday.
"It's been fun because the team has been playing so well,"
Rodriguez said. "I think everybody's been a lot more panicked than
Bobby Abreu doubled three times, and Jorge Posada and Robinson
Cano added three hits apiece for the AL East-leading Yankees, who
took two of three games from Minnesota in a possible playoff
preview. New York leads Boston by a season-high nine games in the
They never needed Mariano Rivera, either. The star closer was
unavailable all weekend because of a stiff elbow.
Jimmie Foxx is the only player with a longer streak, according
to the Elias Sports Bureau. He did it 12 straight years from
"He kept working at it. He wasn't quitting on anybody. It's
just great to see much more relaxed at-bats out of him," Yankees
manager Joe Torre said. "He can put numbers up like nobody, with
Torii Hunter homered for the slumping Twins, who have scored
only 15 runs while going 2-5 in their past seven games. Minnesota,
a half-game behind Chicago in the AL wild-card race, dropped to
2-13 at Yankee Stadium since 2002.
"The Yankees have a $200 million payroll, and we play for
minimum wage," Hunter said.
Recalled from Triple-A Columbus before the game, the 25-year-old
Rasner (1-0) allowed four hits and walked none in his second big
league start -- and first for the Yankees.
Pitching before a sellout crowd of 55,155, he kept his poise in
the third, when he escaped a first-and-third jam with no outs.
"The turning point of the game," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire
said. "That changed the momentum."
Rasner was claimed off waivers from Washington in February and
went 4-0 with a 2.56 ERA in 10 starts at Columbus this year. The
right-hander was on the disabled list from June 2 to Aug. 23 with a
"I don't think it gets any better than this," he said. "It's
Hunter homered on a 3-0 pitch in the second, his 23rd this
season and second in two days.
The Yankees took control with a four-run third.
Rodriguez added an RBI single in a two-run eighth, leaving him
with 31 homers and 104 RBI. He has 44 career multihomer games,
including four this season.
The two-time MVP rediscovered his swing by batting .375
(9-for-24) with five home runs and 11 RBI on New York's 4-2
homestand. He was brought out for several curtain calls -- including
one on Sunday.
"The way he hit the ball today was not even right. It was not
even human," Hunter said.
Jeter extended his hitting streak to a season-best 14 games
and tied Hall of Famer Phil Rizzuto for the most games played at SS
with the Yankees (1,647). ... The teams split the season series
3-3. ... Minnesota 2B Luis Castillo missed his fourth consecutive
game with a sprained right ankle. Gardenhire hopes Castillo will be
able to play Monday at Tampa Bay. ... Yankees LF Hideki Matsui
(left wrist) is scheduled to work out with Class-A Staten Island on
Monday and Tuesday before beginning a rehabilitation assignment
with Double-A Trenton on Wednesday.