Alex Rodriguez's final game with the Yankees started off with a bang, then with a rocket to right-centerfield in the first inning.
Batting third in the order, Rodriguez stepped to the plate with a runner on first and one out for his first at bat against Rays starter Chris Archer, and found a fastball he liked on 2-2. The ball shot through the hole on the right side, leaving his bat at 103 mph according to Statcast, and rolled all the way to the wall, allowing a runner to score.
The stadium erupted accordingly, giving him a standing ovation. His RBI tied the game 1–1.
After striking out and grounding out twice, Rodriguez's night appeared to be finished. But in the top of the ninth, he came charging out to play the field.
Rodriguez was not supposed to play the field on Friday, after he originally manager Joe Girardi to start at third base and was turned down. He was lifted after just one out, and replaced by Ronald Torreyes. He stood and tipped his cap as fans roared, then disappeared into the dugout.
After the game he will become a team instructor and adviser, beginning with the 2017 season.
- Kenny Ducey