Major Leagues: A-Rod comes home to Miami
MIAMI ó Hometown hero Alex Rodriguez played in Miami for the first time since high school, helping the New York Yankees over the Florida Marlins 5-3 on Saturday.
Rodriguez homered, doubled and drove in two runs for the Yankees, who got two hits apiece from Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi.
Rodriguez got a huge roar when the starting lineups were announced.
“This is Alex’s home,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who, like Rodriguez, lives in South Florida during the winter. “I went and saw a Heat game this year, I was driving back, and there was a big billboard that said, ‘Congratulations Alex on the MVP.’ This town has really embraced Alex and Alex has really embraced this town.”Rodriguez’s 407-foot home run in the fifth inning off Florida starter Andrew Miller earned him a standing ovation in a stadium almost entirely filled with Yankees fans.
With 150 of his friends and family in the crowd ó a “world record” player ticket buy, he said ó dozens of fans swarmed the Yankees’ dugout in A-Rod’s No. 13 jerseys, most imploring him in Spanish to sign something for them.
“Coming up here and being a part of South Florida high school sports, it’s nice to come full circle,” said Rodriguez, the reigning AL MVP after hitting .314 with 54 home runs and 156 RBIs last season. “I never really thought I would get this opportunity, being in the American League.”