A-Rod hits career home run No. 598

Updated: July 18, 2010, 6:30 PM ET
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez is now just two homers shy of joining the 600 Club.

[+] EnlargeDerek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez
Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesDerek Jeter and co. congratulate A-Rod after he went yard for the 598th time in his career.

Rodriguez ended a streak of 27 at-bats without a home run when he drilled Andy Sonnanstine's 84-mph slider deep into the Tampa Bay Rays' bullpen in left-center field to lead off the seventh inning of the Yankees' 9-5 win over the Rays on Sunday.

It was Rodriguez's 15th homer of the season and the 598th of his career. A-Rod would be just the seventh hitter to reach 600 career home runs. The other six are Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714), Willie Mays (660), Ken Griffey Jr. (630) and Sammy Sosa (609).

Rodriguez hit career home run No. 500 on Aug. 4, 2007, against the Kansas City Royals.

Rodriguez, 34, would be the youngest player to reach No. 600. He also can reach the 600-homer mark in the second-fewest career games played.

Babe Ruth hit No. 600 in career game 2,044. Sammy Sosa, the next quickest to reach the mark, reached 600 in career game 2,302. Rodriguez played his 2,251st career game on Sunday.

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com

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