A-Rod's air ball lets Rays off hook

Prolonged pursuit of 600 takes center stage as Tampa cuts AL East lead to one

Updated: July 31, 2010, 2:16 AM ET
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- For eight innings, Alex Rodriguez's chase to join the 600 Club was merely a sideshow to the main event, which was, for a change, just a good, solid, well-pitched and competitive baseball game, something the Yankees haven't been involved in all that often this year.

And then came the ninth, and suddenly, the A-Rod Show was back on the air in prime time, all eyes on Alex, all the Yankees' hopes and expectations for the night placed firmly and heavily upon the shoulders ...

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