NEW YORK — In his first start at Yankee Stadium, Tim Lincecum was lifted a few pitches before the decisive blow.
Alex Rodriguez set a major league record with his 24th career grand slam, passing Lou Gehrig with a tiebreaking shot in the seventh inning that sent the New York Yankees to a 5-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Friday night.
A-Rod's drive off reliever George Kontos helped CC Sabathia beat Lincecum (10-14) in a matchup of former Cy Young Award winners having subpar seasons.
“Just tough to watch and tough to put somebody in that kind of situation,” Lincecum said. “Just wasted a lot of pitches that inning, didn't attack the zone as much as the previous six, and I felt like I could've gotten out of that better than what happened.”
With the score tied at 1, Eduardo Nunez grounded a slow single through the right side to start the seventh. Second baseman Joaquin Arias tweaked his hamstring when he broke for the ball and came out of the game the following inning.
“Bad luck for Timmy,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “Joaquin would've had it.”
Lincecum (10-14) hit Brendan Ryan with a pitch and walked Ichiro Suzuki with two outs, loading the bases and ending the right-hander's night after 121 pitches.
Rodriguez, hampered by a sore leg lately, reached out and lofted a 2-1 pitch from Kontos toward the hitter-friendly dimensions in right field for his 654th career homer and seventh this season.
The hit snapped a 1-for-25 slide for A-Rod, who returned Aug. 5 from hip surgery.
“I went back and looked at the pitch and I thought it was a pretty good pitch, little bit off the plate,” Kontos said. “He might've just been leaning over looking for something and in this ballpark, with the guy as strong as he is, you flip it out there and put some backspin on it, the ball just tends to go to right field there.
“It was just one of those days where you get beat even if you throw a good pitch,” Kontos added.