Milestone for A-Rod as Yanks roll Collects 2,500th hit to help Sabathia earn 16th victory

Alex Rodriguez reached a milestone last night, recording the 2,500th hit of his career with a fifth-inning single. But hits 2,501 and 2,502 proved to be much more important.

A-Rod's two-run single in the seventh snapped a 1-1 tie, and his two-run hit in the ninth helped the Yankees blow the game open en route to a 10-2 win over the Orioles at Camden Yards.

CC Sabathia became the American League's first 16-game winner, throwing seven innings of one-run ball. Sabathia allowed seven hits and one walk, striking out nine for his sixth victory in seven starts.

"To do it on a night where we got CC his 16th win and won the game, it feels pretty good," A-Rod said before admitting he thought he had passed 2,500 hits a while ago. "What was big was winning the game."

The Yankees led by a run entering the ninth, but a seven-run explosion in which the Yanks sent 12 men to the plate in the final inning helped turn the game into a laugher.

A-Rod's season started on this same field on May 8, when he belted a three-run homer on the first pitch he saw to help Sabathia to his second win of the year. Since then, the lefty is 14-4 and A-Rod has had a productive year with 23 home runs and 75 RBI, helping the Yankees to the best record in Baseball at 85-48.

"It's a long time, but we've been having a lot of fun," A-Rod said. "A lot of good things have happened since that swing."

The Yankees picked up another game on the Red Sox, stretching their AL East lead to 7? games. They also added a game to their lead over the Angels, moving 6? games ahead in the race for home-field advantage.

The win gave the Yankees their second consecutive series sweep, their 11th of the season. Three of those sweeps have come against last-place Baltimore, helping the Yanks to a 12-3 record against the Orioles in 2009, including victories in each of the past 10 meetings. It's the first time the Yankees have won 10 straight against the Orioles since 1955, the team's second year in Baltimore.

The Orioles scored a run in the first, but Eric Hinske tied it up in the third with a leadoff homer off starter Jason Berken, his seventh home run in 55 at-bats since joining the Yankees .

Sabathia struck out Brian Roberts and Cesar Izturis with the bases loaded in the second, then cruised through Baltimore's lineup over the next five innings. With the game tied at 1, Johnny Damon opened the seventh by drawing a walk against right-hander Kam Mickolio, then Nick Swisher hit a shallow fly to left that dunked in for a double, putting runners at second and third with nobody out.

A-Rod, whose fifth-inning single was career hit No. 2,500, came through with a line drive to center, scoring Damon and Swisher to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead. Of his 75 RBI this season, 37 have either tied the game or given the Yankees a lead.

"I'm very comfortable in those situations," Rodriguez said. "Close and late, I feel like I'm having my best at-bats. I felt that way in '07, too."

The Yankees scored seven runs in the ninth, highlighted by A-Rod's second two-run single.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: September 3, 2009