Alex Rodriguez matches Lou Gehrig

Updated: June 13, 2012, 6:54 PM ET
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com

ATLANTA -- Move over, Iron Horse. Make room for A-Rod.

In one of the more dramatic moments of his Yankees career, Alex Rodriguez not only tied a game, he matched Lou Gehrig for the most grand slams in baseball history with his line drive over the left-field fence in the eighth inning of Tuesday night's 6-4 win at Turner Field.

The shot was Rodriguez's 23rd career grand slam and 10th homer of the season. It also wiped out the four-run lead the Atlanta Braves had built against Yankees starter CC Sabathia.

Rodriguez's homer came on a 3-2 pitch from reliever Jonny Venters, a two-seam fastball clocked at 93 mph. With Derek Jeter (single), Curtis Granderson (single) and Mark Teixeira (walk) aboard, Rodriguez -- who had been ahead 3-0 in the at-bat before taking a strike and fouling off two more -- sent the pitch on a low line into the left-field seats, drawing a roar from the Turner Field crowd. The Yankees scored two more runs in the inning en route to the come-from-behind victory.

Rodriguez's homer was caught on the fly by 15-year-old Randy Kearns, a lifelong Yankees fan attending his first live Bombers game. Kearns returned the ball to A-Rod in a postgame meeting and received a signed ball, a bat and jersey.

It was Rodriguez's first home run since a blast on June 3 off Justin Verlander, a span of 26 at-bats.

And considering the Yankees' and Rodriguez's record of futility with the bases loaded this season -- they were batting just .149 in that situation, and A-Rod just .100, on one single in 10 at-bats -- the blow was a pleasant surprise.

Rodriguez now has 29 RBIs on the season and 639 career homers, fifth on the all-time list and 21 shy of Willie Mays.

"It means a lot," Rodriguez said after the game. "It's very special. This game is very, very difficult. If you're not going to enjoy these great moments, then it's not any fun. Lou Gehrig is not only one of the all-time greats, but he's one of ours."

New York manager Joe Girardi was also in awe of Rodriguez's accomplishment.

"It's hard to fathom what he's been able to do in his career," Girardi said. "To be mentioned with Lou Gehrig, that's special."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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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