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Alex Rodriguez delivers first home run since return against Justin Verlander

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

Back in the lineup after a routine day off on Saturday — perhaps even a mental day following a three strikeout performance on Friday — Alex Rodriguez connected for his first home run of the 2013 season. Off Justin Verlander no less, because it would only make sense for what many will say is A-Rod's first "clean" home run in many, many years to come off one of the game's elite pitchers.

The big moment happened with A-Rod leading off the second inning. On the second pitch he saw, the 38-year-old third baseman turned on Verlander's 92 mph fastball and deposited it about three rows deep in the left field bleachers to tie the game at 1. It was his fourth career home run off Verlander.

In addition to being A-Rod's first homer this season — and first since Sept. 14 of last season — it's also the 648th of his career, which means the following.

Naturally, this one big swing turned the initial Sunday boos into cheers for A-Rod. Perhaps the most cheers he's heard in the past 11 months. Of course they quickly vanished in the next half inning when he booted a routine ground ball for his first error, but they would return again as A-Rod knocked home Robinson Cano with a third inning single.

By the way, with the second RBI A-Rod moved past Stan Musial for sixth-place on the all-time list with 1,952.

Indeed everything the man does is newsworthy or noteworthy on some level.

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