A-Rod homers in rain-shortened tie

March 14, 2008 5:36:04 PM PDT
Alex Rodriguez hit his third home run of the spring in the first inning and the Yakees tied the Reds, 7-7, in a game stopped because of rain in the 10th inning.Corey Patterson doubled to lead off the game for the Reds, the first hit allowed this spring by Yankee starter Phil Hughes. Juan Castro singled him home for the first run scored off Hughes.

Hughes, the Yankees' first pick in the 2004 draft, retired 18 of the 20 batters he faced in his six innings of work coming into the game. Hughes allowed four runs and nine hits in 2 2-3 innings Friday.

"I wasn't behind every hitter," Hughes said. "That was tough but it's better to get it out of the way now than later. It's one of those things I have to battle through."

Hughes said he was overthrowing.

"He just didn't have the command he's had all spring and that's going to happen," New York manager Joe Girardi said.

Cincinnati starter Matt Belisle pitched three innings and allowed seven runs and eight hits. Reds manager Dusty Baker is counting on Belisle to follow up his 8-9 record from last season with a big year.

One of Belisle's competitors for a rotation assignment, free agent Josh Fogg, pitched five scoreless innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Reds' other split-squad game Friday.

"Belisle struggled some," Baker said. "He had the two-out blues. He would get the first two out, then couldn't stop the bleeding.

"We'll keep pitching them," Baker said of Belisle and Fogg. "They'll make our decision for us."

The Reds rallied off Heath Phillips and Chris Britton in the seventh inning. Non-roster player Juan Francisco doubled off Britton and scored the tying run.

Patterson, signed as a free agent by the Reds on March 4, had three hits that included a bunt single.