Alex Rodriguez's 660th career home run proved to be the game-winner against the Red Sox Friday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Closing Time: Alex Rodriguez's pinch-hit, milestone home run gives Yankees win over Red Sox

Ryan Hannable
May 01, 2015 - 6:24 pm
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Alex Rodriguez sure knows how to make an entrance. Rodriguez entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the top of the eighth with the game tied at two, and lined a solo homer run into the Monster seats off Junichi Tazawa on a 3-0 pitch, giving the Yankees the lead, and ultimately a 3-2 win over the Red Sox Friday night. The home run tied Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time list with 660. It spoiled a strong start by Red Sox starter Justin Masterson. The right-hander went six-plus innings, allowing two runs on six hits, while walking three and striking out two. It was the second straight quality start by a Red Sox pitcher. The Red Sox led 2-1 in the seventh when Masterson walked the lead off batter, No. 9 hitter Didi Gregorius. He was removed from the game after just 87 pitches and left-hander Tommy Layne came in. Layne couldn't hold the lead, as the Yankees tied the game on a Brian McCann single. After trailing 1-0, the Red Sox tied the game in the third inning on a Mookie Betts sacrifice fly, and then took the lead on an Allen Craig solo homer into the Monster seats in the fourth. It was Craig's first of the season, and snapped an 0-for-11 skid. The Red Sox had plenty of chances to tie the game, as they finished 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Rodriguez. His pinch-hit homer was the difference. It was his first career pinch-hit homer. Vote on the Rock Solid Performer of the week and enter to win a VIP Boston Baseball Experience at WEEI.com/rocksolid. Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox' loss: WHAT WENT WRONG -- The Red Sox could have scored a run in the fourth inning on a double from Ryan Hanigan, but because of fan interference, Xander Bogaerts had to go back to third. The run proved to be the difference in the game. -- Hanigan had to leave the game in the seventh inning after he was hit on the hand, when a Layne pitch hit Mark Teixeira and deflected into Hanigan's hand. Sandy Leon replaced Hanigan behind the plate. -- Tazawa's home run to Rodriguez was his third home run allowed in just over 11 innings of work this season. -- Betts went 0-for-4 in the game, which snapped a three-game hit streak. WHAT WENT RIGHT -- The Red Sox manufactured their first run of the game in the third inning. Bogaerts doubled to lead off the inning. Then after seeing 11 pitches, Hanigan's fly ball to center advanced Bogaerts to third, and then he scored on a Betts sacrifice fly. -- David Ortiz singled in the third inning. He's now reached base in 26 straight home games against the Yankees. The last time he didn't was Aug. 6, 2011. -- Dustin Pedroia singled in the fifth inning to extend his hit streak to five games. -- Robbie Ross Jr. tossed a scoreless top of the ninth inning.

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