NEW YORK (AP) -
did his part to help make New York's final homestand at Yankee Stadium milestone week.
Rodriguez became the first player with 35 home runs and 100 RBIs in 12 seasons - one more than
- and the
New York Yankees
Chicago White Sox
's pursuit of the AL Central crown with a 5-1 victory Wednesday night.
''Anytime you can do something like that in a Yankee uniform is special,'' said Rodriguez, who connected off
in the eighth.
A day earlier,
set the career hits record at Yankee Stadium, and
for second on the saves list on Monday.
That's about all Yankees fans have had to root for as the club plays out the final week at Yankee Stadium with the likelihood
they will be eliminated from the playoffs for the first time since 1993 before Sunday's finale at the House that Ruth Built.
''Obviously you come into each and every season to win a World Series,'' Rodriguez said. ''We have a lot of work to do.''
gave New York something positive to think about heading into the offseason, pitching four solid innings in his first start
for the Yankees since April 29.
''Obviously, when a player comes back up he wants to show you what he can do. The big thing is being able to relax, and in
the tough situations he made the big pitches,'' Yankees manager
had an RBI groundout off Hughes in the third, but that was all the
could muster against the 22-year-old right-hander and four relievers. The
maintained their 2 1/2 game lead over Minnesota, which lost to Cleveland.
''We didn't hit well today. We got a couple of men on second base with no outs and didn't hit them over,''
said. ''If we want to win we've got to score more than one run. We've got to be better out of the bullpen if we want to win
With his homer in the eighth inning, A-Rod became the first player to have at least 35 in 11 consecutive seasons (1998-2008),
snapping a tie with
Rodriguez has 101 RBIs this year.
Ruth, who also has 12 seasons with 35 homers, had at least 35 homers and 100 RBIs for the Yankees 11 times in the 1920s and
''The 11 years in a row means more than the numbers,'' said Rodriguez, who struck out in five of his previous 10 at-bats before
hit a two-run homer,
had three hits and
had a tying RBI single, scoring Rodriguez, in the seventh inning. Nady then scored on a wild pitch as New York rallied against
Guillen said he would keep Richard, who came in 2-4 with a 6.94 ERA, on a very short leash, and the 25-year-old rookie Richard
earned every inning.
He induced double-play grounders in the first, after a leadoff walk, and in the third, after a leadoff single, and struck
in the fifth after giving up two singles to start the inning.
''He was doing some funky things with the ball and we couldn't figure him out,'' Damon said of Richard.
But Guillen left him in a batter too long. After a visit to the mound that left Richard with a big smile, the rookie gave
up a tying single to Nady. Cano followed with a double down the right-field line to end the rookie's night.
''It was definitely a step in the right direction individually,'' Richard said. ''Late in the game there were a couple of
pitches left up. I just didn't get the job done.''
relieved and threw a wild pitch that allowed Nady to score and give the Yankees a 2-1 lead.
Damon hit a two-run homer in the eighth off Linebrink and Rodriguez lined his 553rd homer to right two batters later for a
Hughes' return to the mound was cut short after just four innings. Considered a future ace by the Yankees, Hughes earned a
spot on the staff out of spring training. But he went 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA before sustaining a stress fracture in a rib, and
he hadn't pitched since April 29. Manager
was hoping to see him show better command of his fastball Wednesday.
Wearing glasses instead of contacts and No. 65 - his old number - instead of 34, which he wore to start this season, Hughes
needed 33 pitches to get out of the first inning. He threw 89 pitches - 57 strikes - overall. The 22-year-old right-hander
gave up a run and four hits and two walks. He struck out four.
''A little bit of jitters, exciting, it's been so long, but it was a good feeling,'' said Hughes, who will pitch in the Arizona
Fall League to build his innings.
The Yankees bullpen pitched five scoreless innings in relief.
pitched two-plus innings,
came on with a runner on second in the seventh and got three straight outs.
worked the eighth before
got the final three outs.
had the soft cast removed from his broken right wrist, and began range of motion exercises. He is scheduled to join the team
in Kansas City on Friday, where he will swing a bat. ... A-Rod had struck out in five of his previous 10 at-bats before the