Alex Rodriguez hits 631st home run

Updated: April 20, 2012, 10:57 PM ET
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com

BOSTON -- Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees moved into fifth-place on the all-time home-run list, ahead of his former teammate and mentor, Ken Griffey Jr., with a solo home run in the Yankees' 6-2 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Friday.

Rodriguez led off the fifth inning with a blast off Boston's Clay Buchholz that sailed over the left-field bleachers and into Lansdowne Street, his second home run of the season and the 631st of his career. It was the fourth solo home run the Yankees had hit in the game -- Russell Martin followed with another in the sixth inning -- and extended their lead to 5-1 after five innings.

It also left Rodriguez trailing just Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays, who he trails by 29 homers, on the all-time list. He caught up to Griffey's career total of 630 home runs with a third-inning solo homer in the Yankees' home opener on April 13.

"Obviously, Griff is special to me, because we came up together," Rodriguez had said after that game. "He was a teammate, he was a brother, he was a mentor all in one, so it's a special day today."

Rodriguez and Griffey played together as members of the Seattle Mariners from 1994-1999, until Griffey was traded to the Cincinnati Reds.

Griffey returned to the Mariners in 2009, and retired during the 2010 season.

Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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