ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -
made major league history by agreeing with an umpire.
New York Yankees
third baseman, a lightning rod for headlines on and off the field throughout his career, saw his ninth-inning home run Wednesday
night the same way as third base umpire Brian Runge. So did baseball's instant replay system.
Rodriguez's long blast down the left field line was upheld in baseball's first use of video to review boundary calls, and
the Yankees beat the AL East-leading
Tampa Bay Rays
''I'm the first player. Next time I'm going stealth and go under the radar screen,'' Rodriguez said. ''It's very fitting I'm
involved. I was just glad we got the right call.''
Rodriguez, who went 3-for-4 and drove in four runs, hit a towering two-run shot off
that Runge immediately ruled a homer when it bounced off the catwalk behind the foul pole in left field.
protested, bringing manager Joe Maddon out of the dugout. After convening, the umpires left the field to review the video,
a process that took 2 minutes, 15 seconds to back the onfield call.
Rodriguez was denied a homer May 21 against Baltimore when a ball he hit over the fence at Yankee Stadium was incorrectly
called an RBI double.
It was one of a string of home run calls blown by umpires, leaving some calling for instant replay.
''I had the best view because I was at home plate. I saw what Brian saw, and for sure I knew this was going to get replayed,''
Rodriguez said of his 549th career homer that moved him ahead of
for sole possession of 12th place on the all-time list. ''I saw the way Navarro jumped and then Maddon jumped out of the dugout
and I said, 'Here we go.'''
Umpire crew chief Charlie Reliford said Maddon asked plate umpire Greg Gibson to discuss the call with Runge.
''We all believed it was a home run, but since the technology is in place we made the decision to use the technology and go
look at the replays,'' Reliford told a pool reporter, adding that the umpires watched the video several times.
''If there had been no argument, obviously we wouldn't have because all four of us believed the call was correct on the field,''
Reliford said. ''Because he disputed it, and it was very close, and now the technology is in place, we used it.''
Percival had no beef with Runge's call.
''I thought it was clearly fair, but after looking at the replay, I wouldn't have known what to call, to be honest with you,''
Percival said. ''The replay made it more cloudy for me.''
But Reliford said the process, which was put in place last Thursday, worked ''exactly like they trained us it would go,''
adding it was a group decision.
''Technically, it's up to the crew chief. But when the ship sinks, everyone drowns. We operate as a crew, we do everything
as a crew, and we make decisions as a crew,'' Reliford said. ''If it comes down to a split decision, then the crew chief is
going to have to decide which decision is most likely correct.''
Boston, which beat Baltimore 5-4 on Wednesday, moved within three games of Tampa Bay in the division.
(5-1) worked out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam after
ran into trouble in the fifth. He was the winner despite facing only three batters as the Yankees won a series against a team
.500 or better for the first time since winning two of three against Boston July 25-27.
Rodriguez, who has two homers and nine RBIs in the first three games of 10-game, four-city road trip, had a run-scoring double
in the third off
(11-9) and a RBI single in the fourth against
had RBI doubles off Jackson, who lasted 3 1-3 innings.
The Rays, who had one hit after the fifth inning, lost a series for the first time since the All-Star break.
It was only the third time since the break that Tampa Bay lost consecutive games. The Rays had been 12-0-1 in series since
losing a season-high seven straight games from July 7-13 to turn a five-game lead over the
into a half-game deficit.
While the Rays weren't charged with any errors Wednesday night, sloppy defense contributed to four infield singles and helped
the Yankees advance baserunners at will on hits to the outfield.
In losing the series opener 7-2 on Tuesday night, the Rays ran themselves out of a potential big inning and committed a throwing
error that helped New York break the game open after
hit a two-run homer.
The Yankees built a 6-1 lead for Pavano. The right-hander, making his third start since returning from elbow surgery that
sidelined him for more than a year, couldn't get through the five innings required to get the win.
B.J. Upton singled and
walked to begin the fifth against Pavano, who was replaced by Ramirez with New York leading 6-3.
lined a single off second baseman Cano's glove to load the bases with no outs.
The Yankees escaped unscathed when
lined into a double play to Cano, who stepped on second before Pena could get back to the bag.
, ending the threat.
The Rays scored on Floyd's first-inning RBI double and
' two-run homer in the fourth as Pavano allowed six hits, walked two and struck out one in four-plus innings - his shortest
outing since coming off the DL.
added an RBI double off
in the ninth.
Jackson, who had won six of his previous seven decisions, allowed six runs and 10 hits in his shortest start of the season.
Four of the hits were infield singles, and two of the five doubles he yielded would have been singles if
hadn't been aggressive in taking an extra base.
Notes: Jeter went 1-for-5 and needs five hits to tie
(2,518) for second place on the Yankees career list. ... Abreu was 1-for-18 lifetime against Jackson before getting hits in
his first two at-bats. ... Navarro returned to the lineup after missing five of the previous six games because of sore hamstrings
in both legs. ... Rays All-Star rookie 3B
, sidelined since Aug. 8 with a fractured right wrist, ran the bases during pregame, but still is not ready to take batting
practice. ''We're in a holding pattern there,'' Maddon said.