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Sunday, July 8, 2007
Diamond Daily


BASEBALL TONIGHT EXTRA

A-Rod finishes with 30 homers

By Mark Simon, ESPN Research

The drop-off in first-half home runs around the majors hasn't affected the player who many say is the best long-ball hitter in baseball -- Alex Rodriguez. The Yankees clobbered the Angels 12-0 on Sunday to close the first half on a high note, and A-Rod smashed his major league-leading 30th home run. Rodriguez became only the second player in Yankees history to reach the 30-homer mark before the All-Star break, joining Roger Maris.

As for the home run drought this season, only eight players have even reached 20 so far tin 2007 -- a significantly lower figure than those posted at the midway point in recent seasons.

ALEX RODRIGUEZ VS. ROGER MARIS
  MARIS '61 A-ROD '07
Home runs 33* 30*
RBI 80 86*
Games 83 85
*Led American League

HR LEADERS AT THE BREAK SINCE 2000
YEAR PLAYER HR
2007 Alex Rodriguez 30
2006 David Ortiz 31
2005 Derrek Lee/Andruw Jones 27
2004 Jim Thome 28
2003 Barry Bonds 30
2002 Lance Berkman 29
2001 Barry Bonds 39
2000 Mark McGwire 30

NEWS AND NOTES
• Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera will miss Monday's Home Run Derby because of a jammed left shoulder. Cabrera has 18 homers, the most by a Marlins player at the break since Carlos Delgado had the same total in 2005.

• First baseman Mark Teixeira (strained left quadriceps muscle) will make a rehabilitation start at Double-A Frisco on Wednesday. He then expects to play Friday night for the Rangers in their first game after the All-Star break at the Los Angeles Angels.

• Rookie right-hander Homer Bailey was optioned to the minors Sunday so the Reds' top prospect can keep pitching over the All-Star break. The Reds called up infielder Pedro Lopez from Triple-A Louisville to take his roster spot and give the team some depth while it struggles with injuries.

• A strong burst of wind caught the tarp as the Rockies' grounds crew tried to roll it over the infield during a seventh-inning rain delay on Sunday, sending crew members flying into the air. No one was hurt and the crew -- with the Phillies' help -- eventually got the tarp down. The crowd, which was scurrying for cover, applauded their efforts.

BRONX BOMBERS

A-Rod and Hideki Matsui lead the Yanks' offense in a 12-0 rout of the Angels.

IN THE ZONE
Cincinnati Reds Scott Hatteberg's two-out single -- his fourth hit of the game -- gave the Reds a 4-3, 11-inning victory over the D-backs and their first four-game winning streak of the season. Cincy is 5-1 under interim manager Pete Mackanin, who took over for Jerry Narron a week ago.
PHOTO OF THE DAY

AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

Homer, what homer? Tigers center fielder takes one away from Boston's Wily Mo Pena.
NOTEWORTHY PERFORMANCES
GOOD
Mariners outfielder Jason Ellison, in the starting lineup because of a late scratch to shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, had a career-high four hits and scored the game-tying run in the seventh inning in Seattle's 7-3 win at Oakland. He also started a four-run seventh-inning rally, then touched off a benches-clearing shoving match.

BAD
Boston Red Sox Following a three-game sweep at the hands of the Tigers, the Red Sox (53-34) have now lost eight of 13 games overall and six in a row on the road. Boston was a season-high 22 games over .500 on June 24.

UGLY
Ervin Santana Pounded for nine runs in three innings in a 12-0 loss at Yankee Stadium, Angels right-hander Ervin Santana fell to 1-8 on the road this season, his ERA a staggering 8.59. He is 4-2 with a 3.42 ERA at home.