NEW YORK (AP) " His pregame tribute ended by a storm, Alex Rodriguez soaked in repeated cheers during his final game in pinstripes, getting one more hit and the New York Yankees had a 6-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday.
On a night filled with nostalgia, baseball's most notorious star of the last two decades drove a 96 mph fastball from Tampa Bay's Chris Archer into the right-center field gap in the first inning.
And with the sellout crowd of 46,459 chanting "We want A-Rod!" the 41-year-old designated hitter trotted to third base for the first time in 15 months at the start of the ninth inning as the organist played "Thanks for Memory."
Rodriguez was replaced after a leadoff strikeout, hugging his teammates as fans, and then raised his cap and then his arm before walking into the dugout, sitting down and holding a white towel to his face as he tried to hold back tears.
"This is a night I'll never forget," he said, moments after the last out.
Rodriguez has 696 home runs, fourth on the career list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714). A 14-time All-Star and three-time AL MVP, A-Rod has a .295 batting average, 3,115 hits and his 2,086 RBIs, second to Aaron's 2,297 since RBIs became an official statistic.
Starlin Castro had four RBIs for the Yankees, hitting a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the sixth off Archer (6-16) that gave CC Sabathia (7-9) his second win since mid-June.
At Chicago, Matt Szczur hit two home runs and the Chicago Cubs won their 11th straight game, backing Jake Arrieta and battering Adam Wainwright to rout the St. Louis Cardinals 13-2.
Willson Contreras launched a three-run shot to cap a five-run second inning, and Javier Baez and Jorge Soler also went deep to make things easy for Arrieta (14-5).
The Cubs' winning streak is their longest since a 12-game run in 2001. They pulled 14 games ahead of scuffling St. Louis in the NL Central and improved the best record in the majors to 73-41.
Mark Trumbo regained the major league lead with his 33rd home run and the Baltimore Orioles moved back into first place in the AL East with a 5-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants.
Trumbo's two-run homer in the third inning off Giants starter Matt Cain traveled an estimated 441 feet, landing near the back of the stands in left field. Earlier Friday, Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion hit his 32nd home run to tie Trumbo for the MLB lead.
The Orioles' win, coupled with the Blue Jays' 5-3 home loss to Houston, moved Baltimore back into first place by a half-game over Toronto. The Giants retained their one-game lead in the NL West over the Los Angeles Dodgers, who lost 5-1 at home to Pittsburgh.
Rajai Davis and Jose Ramirez each stole three bases to help Cleveland level a franchise record with eight, and Brandon Guyton drove in five runs as the Cleveland Indians beat the Los Angeles Angels 13-3.
Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor added steals for Cleveland to match the record that was first accomplished on Aug. 27, 1917, against the Washington Senators.
Guyton homered in the second and had two-run singles in the fifth and eighth for the AL Central leaders.
Also, the San Diego Padres beat the New York Mets 8-6, the Atlanta Braves downed the Washington Nationals 8-5, the Chicago White Sox edged the Miami Marlins 4-2 and Hanley Ramirez hit two three-run homers to help the Boston Red Sox rout the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-4.
This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings