Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Fenway Farewell

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Fenway Farewell

Article excerpt

BOSTON - Alex Rodriguez's goodbye kiss to Fenway Park came in Thursday night's eighth inning, his last at-bat in his next-to-last game as a Yankee.

The bases were loaded and the Yanks had already taken a lead when A-Rod tapped a little left-side roller, far enough to allow Brett Gardner to score from third base on his groundout.

That was the insurance run in the Yankees' 4-2 win against the Red Sox, before 38,161 fans whose farewell song to A-Rod was a constant chorus of booing during his 0-for-4.

Tonight is scheduled to be Rodriguez's final game in pinstripes, after which he'll be released - due to assume an advisory role in 2017, covering the final year of his $275 million contract. "I'll get a chance to say goodbye to our great fans," A-Rod said of a crowd that will include his mother and two young daughters. "And that's where my focus is."

Since the announcement of Rodriguez's Bronx exit last Sunday, manager Joe Girardi's gaze has been fixed on winning games, not playing to the sentiment of A-Rod's final days as a Yankee.

But after leaving him out of the starting lineup the first two games at Fenway, Girardi installed A-Rod in Thursday's cleanup spot against Eduardo Rodriguez, a lefty he'd had success against, only to watch him go hitless in three at-bats, including a strikeout.

But trailing, 2-1, into the eighth, the Yanks rallied against side-winding righty reliever Brad Ziegler, capped by Jacoby Ellsbury's go-ahead, two-run double - a liner that appeared to be misjudged by rookie left fielder Andrew Benintendi.

With first base open, Chase Headley was intentionally walked and A-Rod strolled up to one last venomous reception from Fenway fans who cast the controversial slugger as a villain since 2004, his first season in the game's most inspired rivalry.

A-Rod's roller produced just his second RBI since July 1.

Dellin Betances left the tying runs at the corners, striking out Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts for a stirring save. …

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