BOSTON, April 21 — Alex Rodriguez enjoyed the Red Sox celebration of Fenway Park’s 100th birthday yesterday and then swatted his 631st career home run to move past Ken Griffey Jr. for fifth place on the all-time home run list.
A-Rod’s fifth-inning shot over the Green Monster in left was one of five Yankee home runs in a 6-2 win over Boston after a celebration in which more than 200 former Red Sox players paraded onto the field at Fenway Park and took their old positions on a day bursting with nostalgia.
“Very cool ceremony, very cool,” Rodriguez told reporters at his locker after the game. “They put on a great show. But the game was good too.
“When you bring so many ball players back, the great history, the great tradition here,” added the 36-year-old Rodriguez about a vibe shared between the two long-time rivals.
Rodoriguez was asked what it meant to him to pass Griffey, who was his teammate on the Seattle Mariners when he broke into the majors.
“It means I’m getting older, that’s for sure,” he joked.
“Griff was a great friend, and a mentor and a great team mate. It’s very humbling being mentioned with some of these great names.”
The next target on the list is Willie Mays at 660.
“We have much bigger goals here than just trying to chase history, but obviously, when you talk about a name like Willie Mays, when it comes, that’s a pretty big name.”
Rodriguez was not the only Yankee to register a lofty statistic.
Yankees’ captain Derek Jeter moved past Hall of Famer Dave Winfield on the hits list with an infield single in the second inning that gave him 3,111 hits for 18th most all-time.
Starter pitcher Ivan Nova (3-0) extended his personal regular season winning streak to 15 games dating back to last season.
“He’s a monster,” Rodriguez said about the 25-year-old Dominican. “I don’t know when people are going to realise that.
“He’s a fantastic young pitcher. He has four plus-pitches, four pitches above major league average. And his velocity, he threw a pitch today at 96.
“All he knows how to do is win. He’s composed, he works extremely hard and he’s turning the corner, big time.” — Reuters