Series: Game 4 of 4

Series tied 2-2 (as of 8/26)

Game 1: Friday, August 23
Texas 6Final
New York 2
Game 2: Saturday, August 24
Texas 2Final
New York 3
Game 3: Sunday, August 25
Texas 6Final
New York 2
Game 4: Monday, August 26
Texas 3Final
New York 10

Rangers 3

(57-72, 25-40 away)

Yankees 10

(81-48, 40-23 home)

    1:05 PM ET, August 26, 2002

    Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York 

    123456789 R H E
    TEX 000002010 3 - -
    NYY 01111501 - 10 - -

    W: O. Hernandez (7-3)

    L: K. Rogers (12-7)

    S: J. Weaver (2)

    A-Rod hits El Duque's eephus pitch for HR

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Jason Giambi reached 100 RBI and Derek Jeter scored his 100th run. Alfonso Soriano set a team record for homers by a second baseman and Bernie Williams got three more hits.

    Orlando Hernandez

    Alex Rodriguez

    Yet on big day for the New York Yankees' bats, most of the talk was about one pitch: a blooper by Orlando Hernandez that Alex Rodriguez blasted.

    A-Rod hit his major league-leading 46th home run on an eephus pitch from El Duque, the most entertaining moment Monday in the Yankees' 10-3 romp over Texas. The two players even joked about it outside the Rangers' clubhouse after the game, though they declined to detail their discussion.

    "You can expect a lot of different arm angles and a lot of different pitches from him, but I never thought I'd get a 48 mph curveball,'' Rodriguez said. "It looked like a slow pitch, softball really. I think he threw one too many.''

    Laughing, Duque agreed.

    "It's possible it was a mistake,'' he said through a translator.

    "Why not use that pitch? It's the same as if he'd hit a changeup or fastball,'' he added. "I don't think I'm fooling anyone with that pitch.''

    Hernandez (7-3) coasted through the early innings, keeping the Rangers off-balance. He drew a laugh from Rodriguez in the opening inning when he threw a blooper pitch for a ball.

    Then in the sixth with a 4-0 lead, Hernandez floated up a 52 mph pitch that Rodriguez took for a ball. El Duque decided to come back with the same pitch, and Rodriguez timed it perfectly and launched it over the left-field fence for a solo home run.

    Hernandez glanced at Rodriguez while he trotted between second and third, and A-Rod looked back when he was halfway home.

    "I think he maybe got a little confident when A-Rod deposited that loop pitch, or whatever you call it,'' Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "You're pitching to perhaps the best player in baseball in trying to tempt him twice.''

    Rafael Palmeiro, who also watched a blooper in the first inning, followed Rodriguez's drive with his 484th career home run, connecting on a fastball.

    A crowd of 42,785 turned out for the last date at Yankee Stadium before Friday's strike deadline. There were only few signs of dissatisfaction, including banners that popped out during the seventh-inning stretch that read "U Strike and We're Gone Forever'' and "Next Home Game 9/2?''

    In the eighth, two fans holding anti-strike signs walked around the lower deck. They drew no noticeable reaction.

    "I want to keep playing,'' Giambi said.

    It was a festive day as the AL East leaders feasted on Kenny Rogers (12-7). He gave up a career-high 13 hits in five-plus innings -- one more hit would've tied the Rangers record shared by Oil Can Boyd and Bobby Witt.

    "The Yankees are always pretty disciplined. They give you quality at-bats,'' Rogers said.

    The Yankees wound up with a split of the four-game set and finished 4-3 in the season series against the last-place Rangers.

    Soriano's solo homer in the fourth broke the team mark for a second baseman of 30 set by Joe Gordon in 1940.

    Soriano also hit a two-run single to cap a five-run sixth. Earlier in the inning, Jeter dashed home from third, making a headfirst slide to beat catcher Bill Haselman's diving tag on Jorge Posada's nubber.

    Jeter joined Ted Williams (1939-49) and Earle Combs (1925-32) as the only players in modern history to score at least 100 runs in their first seven seasons, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

    Jeter scored again in the eighth on Giambi's single. Giambi has had at least 100 RBI in five straight seasons.

    Soriano and Williams each had three of New York's 19 hits. Williams extended his hitting streak to 17 games and Ron Coomer had a pair of RBI singles.

    Jeff Weaver finished up with three innings for his second save, striking out five.

    Game notes

    Rangers C Ivan Rodriguez did not play. He developed a toothache Sunday night and saw a dentist. Texas had already planned to give him a day off. ... Williams' hitting streak is the longest for the Yankees since he had a 17-gamer in 2000. Williams also tied Roy White for ninth place on the Yankees' career hit list with 1,803. ... The Japanese team that lost 1-0 to Louisville, Ky., in the Little League World Series championship game Sunday night was honored in a pregame tribute. ... Texas rookies Kevin Mench and Travis Hafner, who had never faced the quirky Hernandez, were a combined 0-for-6 with six strikeouts against him.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press