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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|
|*Led American League|
|HR LEADERS AT THE BREAK SINCE 2000|
|2005||Derrek Lee/Andruw Jones||27|
• 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.
A-Rod and Hideki Matsui lead the Yanks' offense in a 12-0 rout of the Angels.
|IN THE ZONE|
|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.
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|