Alex Rodriguez was hit by a fastball in his first at-bat and then homered to start a four-run sixth inning as the New York Yankees rallied to a 9-6 win over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi was ejected after storming out of the dugout to yell at plate umpire Brian O’Nora, who warned both benches immediately after Rodriguez was hit by Ryan Dempster’s 3-0 pitch leading off the second inning. It struck his left elbow pad and ricocheted off his back.
The dustup seemed to spark the Yankees, who were trailing 2-0 at the time. Mariano Rivera earned his first save since blowing three chances in a row for the first time in his career.
Boston’s lead in the American League East was cut to one game over Tampa Bay.
The game took 4 hours, 12 minutes.
Miguel Cabrera hit his 40th home run and had an RBI single to help Max Scherzer become baseball’s first 18-game winner this season as the Detroit Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 6-3.
The reigning Triple Crown winner became the third player since 1921 to have at least 40 homers and 120 RBIs while batting .350 or better through 116 games, joining Babe Ruth and Jimmie Foxx.
Cabrera, who has eight homers in 13 games, leads the majors in batting (.360) and RBIs (120). His home run pulled him within four of Baltimore’s Chris Davis.
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, Alexei Ramirez homered and had three RBIs, while Hector Santiago won for the first time since June 21 as the Chicago White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 5-2.
Ramirez finished a triple short of the cycle. He homered to lead off the fifth inning, giving Chicago a 4-2 lead and helping his team win their first road series in more than a month.
Tampa Bay’s Jose Lobaton hit a solo home run in the 10th inning as the Rays edged the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1.
Lobaton sent a pitch from Brad Lincoln (1-2) into the right-field seats. Lobaton had a game-ending triple in the ninth on Friday.
In other American League games, the Seattle Mariners edged the Texas Rangers 4-3, the Houston Astros downed the Los Angeles Angels 7-5 and the Oakland Athletics were 7-3 winners over the Cleveland Indians.
In interleague play, Chris Davis went four-for-five with his major league-leading 45th home run and Adam Jones had a two-run shot among his three hits as the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Colorado Rockies 7-2.
In the National League, Carlos Ruiz had four hits as the Philadelphia Phillies benefited from two ninth-inning errors by shortstop Hanley Ramirez to beat the Dodgers 3-2, giving interim manager Ryne Sandberg his first victory and ending Los Angeles’ 10-game winning streak.
Sandberg took over when Charlie Manuel, the most successful manager in the club’s history, was fired on Friday.
Andre Ethier homered for the Dodgers, who have lost just nine of their past 51.
Darin Ruf hit a home run to begin Philadelphia’s comeback from a two-run deficit.
In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Adam Eaton’s bloop double in the 16th inning drove in two runs as the Arizona Diamondbacks outlasted the Pirates 4-2.
Eaton’s career-high fourth hit came during his seventh at-bat, with A.J. Pollock and Didi Gregorius on base and two outs.
Eaton fought off a 1-0 pitch from Kris Johnson and dunked the ball into shallow left-center.
Arizona remained five games behind Cincinnati in the race for the second National League wild-card spot.
Pittsburgh’s lead in the National League Central dwindled to one game over St Louis.
Cincinnati’s Homer Bailey allowed one run and three hits in eight innings as the Reds routed the Milwaukee Brewers 9-1, while Julio Teheran pitched around trouble through six scoreless innings as a tired Atlanta Braves bullpen clung on for a 2-1 victory over the Washington Nationals.
In other National League games, the Florida Marlins beat the San Francisco Giants 6-5, the St Louis Cardinals downed the Chicago Cubs 6-1 and the San Diego Padres rallied to defeat the New York Mets 4-3.