CLEVELAND - And on the seventh day, he went homerless. Again.
Alex Rodriguez went 1-for-4 with three RBIs in the Yankees' 11-4 win over the Indians last night, making it one week since he hit his 599th home run.
He now takes his chase to Florida, where the Yankees have much more pressing issues - a three-game series beginning Friday night against the second-place Rays, who trail the Yankees by two games.
"It's been great," A-Rod said of the week since 599. "We've been playing good baseball, winning baseball. The thing to remember is when I hit this, nothing's going to change. We're in the middle of a pennant race and we're just trying to play good baseball."
And though Rodriguez wasn't at his best in Cleveland - 3-for-17 in the series - the Yankees (65-36) head to St. Petersburg for the big series having won three of four here.
Rodriguez walked in the first inning against Mitch Talbot, hit a sacrifice fly to deep center in the third off Rafael Perez, lined out to right in the fifth against Frank Herrmann, grounded to short in the seventh against Tony Sipp - and hit a two-run single off former Met Joe Smith later in the seven-run seventh that blew the game open. He struck out with the bases loaded, the third time he was up with the bases full, against Jess Todd in the eighth.
Rodriguez is 9-for-30 with seven RBIs since hitting No. 599 July 22 against the Royals. "I feel good about the way I've been swinging the bat," he said.
Dustin Moseley, tabbed Monday by Joe Girardi to start last night because of Sergio Mitre's poor start Saturday against the Royals, more than earned another start, which Girardi said he'll get Tuesday against the Blue Jays at the Stadium. After a rough first inning in which he threw 31 pitches and escaped a bases-loaded, one-out situation with only one run scoring, Moseley - making his first start since April 2009, when he was an Angel - didn't allow a run in the next five innings. That was important, as the Yankees didn't break it open until the seventh.
"It's been a long road these last couple years," said Moseley, who had surgery on his arm in 2008 and his hip last August. "To get a start and then go out there and keep the team in the game and eventually get a win worked out real good for me."
The Yankees scored 10 runs with two outs, including all seven in the seventh after Sipp retired the first two batters. They had 11 walks and a hit batsman in 62/3 innings. They wound up with 12 hits and 12 walks and left 14 runners on base.
Indians infielder Andy Marte came in for the ninth and threw a 1-2-3 inning, striking out Nick Swisher. In the bottom of the ninth, Yankees outfielder Marcus Thames made his first career appearance at third base. He made a nice stop but threw the ball away for an error as the Indians scored three runs against Chan Ho Park.
The Yankees loaded the bases with one out in the second and third innings, put runners on first and second with none out in the fourth and had runners on first and third with one out in the fifth, but they managed only one run in those situations, on Rodriguez's sacrifice fly in the third.
Brett Gardner stole third with one out in the sixth, but Colin Curtis popped to short rightfield, too shallow for even the speedy Gardner to run on Shin-Soo Choo. But Derek Jeter lined Sipp's 2-and-1 pitch to center for an RBI single and a 2-1 lead.
With two outs and no one on base in the seventh, Robinson Cano homered off lefthander Sipp, his 20th. After two walks, Francisco Cervelli lined an RBI single off Smith, Curtis was hit by a pitch, Jeter drew a bases-loaded walk and Curtis Granderson bounced a two-run single into rightfield. Mark Teixeira walked to re-load the bases and Rodriguez lined a two-run single to center for a 9-1 lead.
Ramiro Peña and Juan Miranda had two-out RBI singles in the eighth before A-Rod struck out. "I guess we'll talk about it [No. 600] again tomorrow," Girardi said. "We all hoped it would happen here, it didn't, so we move on to the next city."