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MLB Roundup

More Yankee magic in ninth

Rodriguez HR ignites rally against Phillies

Johnny Damon has to hand it to Alex Rodriguez (right), who belted a two-run home run in the ninth inning to tie the game off Phillies closer Brad Lidge. Johnny Damon has to hand it to Alex Rodriguez (right), who belted a two-run home run in the ninth inning to tie the game off Phillies closer Brad Lidge. (Frank Franklin Ii/Associated Press)
Associated Press / May 24, 2009
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Alex Rodriguez is batting .204 - and making his hits count.

Rodriguez hit a tying homer off Brad Lidge in the ninth inning and Melky Cabrera capped the three-run rally with an RBI single, giving the Yankees a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies yesterday in New York.

In 15 games since returning from hip surgery, Rodriguez has 10 hits. Seven are home runs, however, and the Yankees are 12-3 during that span.

"Right now, I'm probably the happiest .200 hitter in baseball," Rodriguez said.

John Mayberry Jr. hit a three-run homer in his major league debut and Raul Ibanez also connected, helping the Phillies build a 4-2 lead for new starter J.A. Happ.

Lidge (0-2) came on in the ninth and immediately got in trouble. Johnny Damon drew a leadoff walk and stole second. After Mark Teixeira struck out, Rodriguez smacked a full-count pitch over the short porch in right.

"We went fastball away after throwing six sliders in a row," Lidge said. "It was pretty impressive that he was able to do what he did. We didn't expect him to hit it."

Robinson Cano followed with a single, stole second, and scored without a play on Cabrera's single to right-center.

The Yankees have won 10 of 11 and are making a habit of these walk-off victories. They had three straight against Minnesota last weekend.

Braves 4, Blue Jays 3 - Derek Lowe (6-2) pitched into the eighth and drove in the go-ahead run with one of his two hits, leading host Atlanta past Toronto, which has lost five straight.

Lowe allowed two runs and five hits in 7 1/3 innings to move into a tie for the NL lead in wins. He has allowed two runs or fewer in seven of his 10 starts.

Rays 10, Marlins 3 - Evan Longoria hit a tiebreaking single in eighth inning to add to his major league-leading RBI total (48) and Tampa Bay went on to roll over host Florida.

Jason Bartlett had three RBIs and two hits, hiking his average to .376, and reserve catcher Michel Hernandez drove in two runs for the Rays, who have won three straight.

Cardinals 5, Royals 0 - Kyle Lohse threw eight innings of four-hit ball and host St. Louis shut out Kansas City for the second straight game, giving the rotation its fifth straight dominant outing.

Lohse (4-3) struck out six with no walks, shaking off three straight losses to start the month. Cardinals starters have allowed one run in 36 2/3 innings during a five-game winning streak in which St. Louis has outscored its opponents, 18-2.

Rangers 6, Astros 3 - Nelson Cruz homered twice, Hank Blalock also connected, and Scott Feldman (3-0) pitched a season-high 6 2/3 innings to help Texas triumph in Houston.

Blalock finished with three hits for the Rangers, who won their second straight game in this Lone Star series. Rockies 4, Tigers 3 - Chris Iannetta and Todd Helton homered to back an efficient performance by Jason Marquis (6-3), and Colorado ended host Detroit's seven-game win skein.

Marquis allowed three runs on six hits in 7 2/3 innings to win his second straight start.

Orioles 2, Nationals 1 - Aubrey Huff drove in the tiebreaking run with a pinch-hit triple in the seventh, and Baltimore made the most of three hits to win in Washington.

White Sox 4, Pirates 0 - Clayton Richard struck out a career-high eight over six innings, Alexei Ramirez homered in his second straight game, and host Chicago won for the fourth time in five games.

Twins 6, Brewers 2 - Joe Mauer had three hits, a homer, and two RBIs to help 23-year-old Anthony Swarzak win his major league debut, lifting host Minnesota to victory and ensuring Milwaukee's first series loss in five weeks.

Indians 7, Reds 6 - Asdrubal Cabrera drove in the tiebreaking run in the eighth, and Joey Votto returned from a week of medical tests for an inner ear infection and homered in his first two at-bats to power Cleveland at Cincinnati.

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