Alex Rodriguez hits homer No. 643 in loss to Angels | Baseball Notebook
Alex Rodriguez snapped a string of 49 at-bats without a homer by blasting his 643rd, but popped out with the bases loaded to end the Yankees' loss.
NEW YORK — Alex Rodriguez relished the moment — bases loaded, two outs, bottom of the ninth. After all, the Yankees slugger is tied for most grand slams in major-league history.
Instead, Rodriguez popped out to finish a 10-8 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.
"What an awesome situation," Rodriguez said. "We just came up short."
A-Rod fell to 2 for 12 this season with the bases loaded. One of those hits was his 23rd career slam, trying Lou Gehrig's mark.
"I took some great swings, felt good about them, lousy result," said Rodriguez, who nevertheless might be turning the corner in a season that so far has been disappointing.
In the first inning, he snapped a string of 49 at-bats without a home run, connecting for the 643rd time in his career.
And a key to his continued surge might be more games as DH. He played third base on Sunday, but was 2 for 4 as the DH on Saturday. Rodriguez is batting .353 in 85 at-bats as DH, and .243 in 230 at-bats when playing third base.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he's noticed.
"It could be a weird coincidence or there could be something to it. I'm not sure yet," he said.
• Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen and Nationals OF Bryce Harper exchanged words after Guillen complained to umpires about the amount of pine tar on Harper's bat. Harper responded by pointing his bat in Guillen's direction, a gesture the manager called "unprofessional."
• Orioles RHP Jason Hammel, from South Kitsap High School in Port Orchard, will have arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Monday and is expected to be out for at least a month.
• Red Sox OF Carl Crawford will finally rejoin the team Monday. He has not played a game this year because of a wrist injury.