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A-Rod homers late to fire Yankees over Phillies

ALEX Rodriguez hit a two-run home run in the ninth inning as the New York Yankees staged a dramatic comeback to beat the World Series champions Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.

Rodriguez's homer tied the game and Melky Cabrera capped the rally with a game-winning single off Phillies closer Brad Lidge (0-2), who blew his third save in 11 opportunities this season.

"We had the last punch," Rodriguez told reporters. "We're at home and we feel very comfortable here."

The Yankees have now won 10 of their last 11 games after losing the opener of the three-game interleague series to the Phillies on Friday night.

Lidge converted all 48 save opportunities last season - including the postseason - but he got into trouble right away after coming on in the ninth.

Johnny Damon walked, stole second and after Mark Teixeira struck out, Rodriguez blasted a full-count pitch over the right field wall for his seventh home run of the season.

Robinson Cano followed with a single, stole second and easily scored without a throw to the plate on Cabrera's hit.

Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said there was nothing physically wrong with his ace reliever. "Give them credit. He made some pitches and they hit 'em," Manuel said.

Six homer runs

Rodriguez has just 10 hits and is hitting a paltry .204, but he has hit six home runs in his last eight games after missing the first 28 games of the season following hip surgery.

"Right now I'm probably the happiest .200 hitter in baseball," Rodriguez said.

In other interleague games, it was: Cardinals 5, Royals 0; Rangers 6, Astros 3; Orioles 2, Nationals 1; Rockies 4, Tigers 3; White Sox 4, Pirates 0; Cavaliers 7, Reds 6; Twins 6, Brewers 2; Mets 3, Red Sox 2; Rays 10, Marlins 3; Braves 4, Blue Jays 3; Diamondbacks 8, Athletics 7 (in 11 innings); Dodgers 5, Angels 4 (in 10 innings); and Giants 5, Mariners 1.

In the only National League game, the San Diego Padres won their eighth in a row with a 3-1 victory over the slumping Chicago Cubs, who have lost a season-high six straight.

In New York, Raul Ibanez hit a solo shot, his 17th of the season, before John Mayberry Jr hit a three-run home run in his first major league game to put the Phillies 4-1 up in the fifth.

"It was incredibly exciting," Mayberry said. "You can't draw it up any better than this. It's been a long time coming, but what a thrill to hit it in this park."

Jose Veras (3-1) got one out in the eighth for the win and Derek Jeter also homered for the Yankees.


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