A-Rod surprised at his home run

September, 4, 2011
9/04/11
5:50
PM ET

There was no one more surprised that Alex Rodriguez hit his 15th home run Sunday than the batter himself. To the slugger, that ball shouldn't have left the park.

"It was a fly ball to right," Rodriguez said. "I got very lucky that ball sailed over the fence. I couldn't believe it."

Lucky or not, Rodriguez still recorded his 15th home run of the season Sunday in the 9-3 win against Toronto. Rodriguez has now hit a home run in two of his past four games and hit just his second home run off a lefty this season.

The home run is an encouraging sign for Rodriguez, who struggled to hit home runs earlier this season. Before Rodriguez went on the disabled list on July 14 and had right knee surgery, the slugger had been in the longest home run drought of his career, a stretch that ultimately lasted 96 at-bats.

While he's just 5-for-24 since returning from the disabled list, Rodriguez does have two home runs in the six games he's played since. He had been without a home run in 24 games before hitting one on Aug. 26 against Baltimore. Sunday's was a solo shot to right off Toronto's Brett Cecil.

As Rodriguez conditions himself back to playing every day, as a thumb injury has sidelined him for a few games since he has come off the disabled list, he admits that he notices that he missed a long stretch of games.

"It feels like I've been gone for two months," Rodriguez said. "Overall it's good to be back. I feel pretty good."

Rodriguez is confident he is going to get himself to where he wants to be physically in the upcoming weeks.

"I'm not rushing. I'm right where I need to be and we have plenty of time," Rodriguez said. "I think the medical staff did a very good job of being conservative and now we're down the stretch and I'll be ready."

Added first baseman Mark Teixeira: "If Alex can get back to being healthy every day and being out there every day, that's going to take us a long way to where we want to bee."

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Brett Gardner
BA HR RBI R
.283 14 47 68
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Teixeira 18
RBIM. Teixeira 50
RB. Gardner 68
OPSB. Gardner .816
WM. Tanaka 12
ERAM. Tanaka 2.51
SOM. Tanaka 135