Rodriguez’s bat is confiscated in win
NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez never got rattled during the big bat flap Saturday at Yankee Stadium. Even more impressive, neither did former USC pitcher Ian Kennedy.
Rodriguez homered and drove in four runs to back Kennedy’s stellar major league debut, leading the New York Yankees to a 9-6 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Tampa Bay had Rodriguez’s bat confiscated in a classic case of gamesmanship -- one inning after umpires took away Akinori Iwamura’s unusual model when Yankees Manager Joe Torre questioned whether it was legal.
“It’s just retaliation. There’s nothing wrong with Alex Rodriguez. He’s a great player. It was tit-for-tat entirely,” Devil Rays Manager Joe Maddon said. “I said, ‘It’s an illegal bat.’ I said, ‘I can’t see inside it, but there might be something inside that bat. I don’t have X-ray vision. He’s got 45 home runs, it’s Sept. 1.’ That was my argument.”
Both confiscated bats were sent to the commissioner’s office for inspection.
Kennedy, 22, stayed calm throughout the ruckus and gave up only one earned run in seven innings, helping New York extend its American League wild-card lead to two games over Seattle.
Mariano Rivera got four outs in a row for his 23rd save, striking out all three batters in the ninth.