08/04/07 8:49 PM ET
Davies surrenders A-Rod's 500th blast
Newly acquired righty tagged for three-run homer in the first
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
Rodriguez didn't wait on Saturday, smashing the first pitch he saw from new Royals right-hander Kyle Davies high to the left-field seats. It was a three-run smash, following Derek Jeter's single and Bobby Abreu's walk.
"Nobody wants to give up a homer and be part of history that way, you know?" Davies said. "But we're trying to win a ballgame, and I was trying to throw a simple down-and-in [sinker] and I didn't get it down and in far enough."
A-Rod knew the soaring blast was a homer almost immediately and he raised his fists in exhilaration as he ran toward first base. As the huge Yankee Stadium crowd roared, he was hugged at the plate by Jeter and Abreu and greeted by Yankees who spilled out of the dugout.
The closest spectator, Royals catcher Jason LaRue, ignored the commotion.
"I really don't care about it, to be honest with you," LaRue said. "I'm happy that A-Rod obviously has done what he's done in his career, I'm not saying that. But it is what it is."
An important milestone, to be sure, reached only for the 22nd time in baseball history.
His first home run came against former Royals hurler Tom "Flash" Gordon on Sept. 12, 1995, at the Kingdome in Seattle. Rodriguez was beginning his career with the Mariners.
A-Rod also hit No. 499 against the Royals, with Gil Meche the victim in Kansas City on July 25. Of the 500 home runs, 32 have come against the Royals.
At 32, the youngest player to achieve 500 homers, Rodriguez also became the fifth active of 22 players to reach the historic plateau.
For the record, in addition to Davies, Meche and Gordon, the Royals pitchers who yielded homers to A-Rod are: Jeff Suppan (6), Tim Belcher (2), Glendon Rusch (2), Scott Service (2), Jeremy Affeldt (2), Doug Linton, Hipolito Pichardo, Rick Huisman, Chris Haney, Dan Murray, Brad Rigby, Jason Rakers, Jeff Austin, Kris Wilson, Chris George, Miguel Asencio, Brad Voyles, Curtis Leskanic, Mike MacDougal and Mike Wood.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.