ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Sean Rodriguez turned his extra pregame work into a big offensive performance.
Rodriguez hit a go-ahead two-run homer, helping the Tampa Bay Rays continue their home dominance over the New York Yankees in a 7-4 victory over the AL East leaders on Tuesday night.
Rodriguez, mired in a 17 for 100 slump dating back to May 21, finished with 3 for 4.
"Any night with three hits, and it’s always good," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez has spent the past few days working early with Rays hitting coach Derek Shelton.
"Definitely been more focused on certain things," Rodriguez said. "Positioning in the box. What my mindset is when I get in the box, and what I’m looking for. Having the right approach."
After blowing a three-run lead, New York went ahead 4-3 on Eric Chavez’s RBI single during the fourth. Tampa Bay responded in the bottom half and grabbed a 5-4 lead on Rodriguez’s first homer since May 27 off Ivan Nova (9-3).
"Great at-bats," Rays manager Joe Maddon said about Rodriguez. "Obviously, the home run was big. Struck the ball well. I’m sure that’s going to really bolster his confidence."
James Shields (8-5) gave up four runs and 10 hits over seven innings for the Rays, who have won nine straight at Tropicana Field over the Yankees.
"We’ve got to find a way to win a game," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "We