Alex Rodriguez’s ninth-inning homer was upheld in baseball’s first use of instant replay, and the New York Yankees beat the A.L. East-leading Tampa Bay Rays 8-4 on Wednesday night.
Rodriguez, who went 3 for 4 and drove in four runs, hit a towering two-run shot off Troy Percival that third base umpire Brian Runge immediately ruled a homer when it bounced off the catwalk behind the foul pole in left field.
Rays catcher Dioner Navarro protested, bringing manager Joe Maddon out of the dugout. After convening, the umpires left the filed to review the tape, a process that took 2 minutes, 15 seconds to back the call.
The home run was Rodriguez’s 31st of the season and 549th of his career, breaking a tie for 12th place with Mike Schmidt on the all-time list.
Other A.L. highlights
Blue Jays 5, Twins 4 (11): At Toronto, John McDonald singled home the go-ahead run in the 11th inning and the Blue Jays beat Minnesota, posting their eighth straight victory over the Twins.
The Twins fell one game behind the White Sox in the Central.
Mets 9, Brewers 2: At Milwaukee, Ryan Church hit a grand slam and Brian Schneider added a homer in a six-run first inning that provided all the offense New York needed to beat the Brewers and complete a three-game sweep.
Milwaukee leads Philadelphia by four games in the wild-card chase but remains 41/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs.
Nationals 9, Phillies 7: At Washington, Christian Guzman went 3 for 5, scored twice and had three RBIs to help the Nationals defeat Philadelphia, allowing the Mets to open a three-game lead in the East.
Diamondbacks 4, Cardinals 3: At Phoenix, Adam Dunn doubled home the winning run in the ninth inning and Arizona defeated St. Louis.
The Diamondbacks held on to their 1 1/2-game lead over Los Angeles in the West.
Clearing the bases
Major League Baseball’s scoring review committee ruled that official scorer Bob Webb did not err when he decided that Pittsburgh’s Andy LaRoche singled against Brewers pitcher CC Sabathia in the bottom of the fifth inning of Milwaukee’s 7-0 win on Sunday. Sabathia tried to make a barehanded pickup of LaRoche’s softly hit grounder, but dropped it. Webb immediately ruled it a hit, explaining he watched LaRoche out of the batter’s box and the runner was two-thirds of the way down the line as Sabathia was picking the ball up. … Frank Thomas’ season ended when Oakland transferred the designated hitter from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.