New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez surpassed Willie Mays with his 661st career home run in the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles on May 7. Rodriguez now holds the solo fourth spot in terms of all-time home runs in Major League Baseball history.
Alex Rodriguez now holds the sole fourth spot on baseball's all-time home run leaderboard.
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Rodriguez surpassed Willie Mays when he hit his 661st career homer during the third inning of the New York Yankees' game against the visiting Baltimore Orioles on May 7, per MLB.com's Bryan Hoch.
Orioles starter Chris Tillman unleashed an 83-mph changeup which Rodriguez re-directed to Yankee Stadium's center field for a solo home run, his seventh of the season. That give New York a 3-2 lead, per Hoch.
The MLB.com report says the home run "had an exit velocity of 108 mph and traveled 441 feet, with a launch angle of 23 degrees."
The Yankees posted a message on the center-field scoreboard saying it was A-Rod's 661st career home run. Hoch also adds the crowd requested Rodriguez to come out of the dugout for a curtain call.
He did and acknowledged the crowd with a two-handed salute, per MLB.com.
According to ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews, Rodriguez is now fourth behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) in baseball's all-time home runs list.
Rodriguez had been tied with Mays for fourth for nearly a week after the former hit his 660th home run against the Boston Red Sox on May 1, per Matthews.
A-Rod has remained relatively mum on the Yankees' refusal to pay him a $6 million bonus for tying Mays last week, per ESPN New York. The bonus is one of five performance-stipulated ones in the 10-year, $275 million contract extension he signed in 2007.
The New York Daily News' Mark Feinsand reported on May 2 the Yankees are holding back on the first home run bonus due to Rodriguez's PED admission and year-long suspension from baseball in 2014.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told Feinsand the team isn't reneging on the terms of the 2007 contract:
"If we choose to pursue something, we'll choose to pursue it. If we choose not to, it's our right not to. In both cases, we're honoring the contract.
"From my perspective, I just care about him performing on the field for this team in 2015. I want to do the best he can to win games and that's what he's been doing."
Hoch notes Rodriguez continues his success against the right-handed Tillman, who he was 5-for-10 against coupled with five home runs entering the game on Thursday.
Coming off a one-year suspension, Rodriguez has slowly earned the respect of Yankees fans for his on-field performance -- his seven homers and 18 RBIs through May 7 are second only to first baseman Mark Teixiera -- and "his humble demeanor in the clubhouse," per Wallace.
The Yankees went on to beat the Orioles, 4-3, on Thursday to solidify their hold on first place in the American League East with an 18-11 win-loss record.
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