NEW YORK – Tainted or not, Alex Rodriguez had plenty of reasons to celebrate homer No. 661.
A-Rod passed Willie Mays for fourth on the career home run list Thursday night, helping the New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-3.
"All of this is pretty crazy," Rodriguez said. "A year ago today I never thought I would ever get a curtain call or be hitting in the middle of the lineup for the Yankees, helping our team win."
With a loud crack of the bat, the Yankees star drilled a line drive off Chris Tillman into the ramp area off limits to fans just to the left of Monument Park in center field in the third inning. The milestone hit gave New York a 3-2 lead.
A-Rod sent a soaring shot in the first inning that Delmon Young caught by reaching over the top of the wall in right field for a sacrifice fly.
Next up for Rodriguez: Babe Ruth at 714 home runs.
The Yankees said they will not pay a $6 million bonus after Rodriguez matched the Say Hey Kid on Friday in Boston.
The slugger pumped his fist as he rounded first base, and fans gave Rodriguez a standing ovation.