Alex Rodriguez came to the plate with the bases loaded in the eighth inning yesterday, wanting to do something special for the thousands of people who waited out a lengthy rain delay at Yankee Stadium to see him hit home run No. 600.
Blake Wood had no intention of being a footnote in history.
After getting ahead of Rodriguez in the count, the Royals reliever threw a pitch high and tight that deflected off the slugger’s left hand and put him down in a heap. For a moment, the outcome of the Yankees’ 12-6 victory over Kansas City hardly seemed to matter.
“It was a scary moment,’’ said manager Joe Girardi, who came sprinting out of the Yankees’ dugout to check on his star third baseman. “He’s such a big part of our club.’’
Rodriguez said after the game that he was fine, and he expects to be in the lineup when the Yankees play four games in Cleveland beginning tonight.
Rodriguez was still a bit shaken by the close call, though, showing off a bruise that was already forming on his hand while standing in front of his locker.
“I have pretty much full strength, so I should be OK,’’ he said. “I was more fearful of the ball coming toward my face. Obviously, the hand is so sensitive, and it’s very easy to break a bone or chip a bone, so I’m just thankful that didn’t happen.’’
Wood said he wasn’t trying to hit Rodriguez. “It was just a ball that got away. It could have happened to anybody,’’ the pitcher said.
Rodriguez wound up driving in three runs, while Curtis Granderson hit a pair of homers before a rain delay of 2 hours 32 minutes.
Blue Jays, 5-3; Tigers, 6-5 — Ryan Raburn’s three-run double in the eighth inning capped a four-run rally that carried injury-depleted Detroit over visiting Toronto and a split of their day-night doubleheader. In the opener, Lyle Overbay hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning to snap a tie for Toronto.
Rays 4, Indians 2 — Reid Brignac hit a three-run homer that helped Wade Davis remain unbeaten in July, and visiting Tampa Bay took two of three from Cleveland.
Rangers 6, Angels 4 — Josh Hamilton drove in three runs and Tommy Hunter (8-0) pitched into the seventh inning as host Texas edged Los Angeles.
Dodgers 1, Mets 0 — Clayton Kershaw scattered seven hits over eight innings in his first start since appealing a five-game suspension and Russell Martin hit a late RBI double to help host Los Angeles shut down New York.
Twins 10, Orioles 4 — Jason Kubel hit his seventh career grand slam and Kevin Slowey took a five-hitter into the seventh inning as Minnesota beat Baltimore to end a run of four consecutive road series losses.
Giants 3, Diamondbacks 2 — Buster Posey had four hits to extend his hitting streak to 18 games and Travis Ishikawa drove him in with a run-scoring single in the 10th inning, helping San Francisco complete its first four-game sweep in Arizona in nine years.
Marlins 5, Braves 4 — Wes Helms hit a bases-loaded RBI single with none out in the 11th inning as Florida earned its fourth walkoff win of the week.
Padres 6, Pirates 3 — Adrian Gonzalez and Chris Denorfia homered, Wade LeBlanc won for the first time in six weeks, and first-place San Diego finished off its first series sweep at PNC Park since it opened to 2001.
Astros 4, Reds 0 — Wandy Rodriguez allowed one hit in seven innings and Hunter Pence and Chris Johnson homered for host Houston.
Phillies 4, Rockies 3 — Jimmy Rollins singled home the tying run in the seventh inning and then put host Philadelphia ahead for good by scoring on a wild pitch.
Brewers 8, Nationals 3 — Casey McGehee and Rickie Weeks homered and host Milwaukee scored five unearned runs off Ross Detwiler to complete a sweep of Washington.
Athletics 6, White Sox 4 — Dallas Braden won for the first time in 10 starts since his perfect game May 9 as host Oakland topped Chicago.
Cardinals 4, Cubs 3 — Felipe Lopez hit a solo homer in the 11th inning to help visiting St. Louis beat Chicago.