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Yankees enjoy visit to San Francisco

Yankees enjoy visit to San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO -- Over the course of five innings, Kei Igawa showed the Yankees he was ready to be back, then glimpses of why he'd been sent down in the first place.

But the Yankees' bats, paced by Alex Rodriguez's four hits and two RBIs, produced enough to gloss over any mistakes -- even Barry Bonds' 749th career home run -- in reeling off a 7-3 victory over the Giants on Friday at AT&T Park.

"Alex, with his ability, as comfortable as he appears to be, the sky is the limit," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "He's scary. He really is scary. He scares people like Barry does."

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Less than two hours after relaying his excitement to play in this stadium for the All-Star Game on July 10, Rodriguez proved it with a double down the left-field line before coming around on a Hideki Matsui sacrifice fly.

"This is one of the most beautiful settings of any ballpark," Rodriguez said. "It's just a great place. Of all the new parks, it's my favorite."

Robinson Cano stroked a two-out single, but Giants starter Matt Cain appeared to work out of damage by getting Miguel Cairo to loft a popup in foul ground to right.

A fan touched the ball, interrupting Randy Winn's pursuit and extending the at-bat for Cairo, who walked. Igawa also worked a free pass and Melky Cabrera made the Giants pay, stroking a two-run single to put the Yankees up by three.

Suddenly forgotten was the Yankees' frustrating three-game trek to the once-hitter-friendly Coors Field in Colorado, where the Bombers managed just five runs in a series sweep and went 1-for-18 with runners in scoring position.

"I think everyone just accepted what happened in Colorado and had a fresh approach," Matsui said.

New York tacked on two more runs in the fifth. Bobby Abreu doubled off the warning track in right-center field to score Derek Jeter, and Rodriguez lined a single to center knocking in Yankees' fifth run.

It all chased the struggling Cain, who allowed seven hits, walked four and struck out none.

Cruising through the first four innings, it didn't appear that Igawa would need much help, but the left-hander -- returned to the big leagues to take the rotation slot formerly assigned to Tyler Clippard -- seemed to hit trouble getting the ball down in the fifth.

Leadoff batter Kevin Frandsen started a succession of hard-hit balls by doubling and scoring on an Omar Vizquel single, and Igawa loaded the bases via a hit and a walk.

That set up a crucial showdown with Bonds, who walked on a high-and-away fastball to force home San Francisco's second run and end Igawa's night after 79 pitches, five hits and three walks.

"I just didn't get the results today," Igawa said through an interpreter. "I'll do better next time. I [was] happy with my first four innings."

"It was very close to what I expected," said Gil Patterson, a pitching coach in the Yankees' system who traveled to San Francisco for Igawa's start. "I think it's a good first step up here for him."

Bengie Molina greeted reliever Luis Vizcaino with a deep drive to the left-field wall, but Matsui saved at least two runs by racing back to the wall, spinning and making a leaping stab over his head to end the inning.

The Yankees added a run in the sixth, when Cabrera -- hobbled by a foul ball hit off his right shin -- rose to his feet and tripled to the gap, scoring when Jeter extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a single. Jeter added a three-bagger of his own in the eighth, coming home on a Rodriguez single to right.

The Yankees' offensive output relegated Bonds' 749th career home run, drawing him within six of all-time leader Hank Aaron, to a historical footnote. The San Francisco slugger blasted a solo shot in the eighth inning off reliever Scott Proctor.

The blast came after Proctor had fallen behind Bonds on a 3-1 count. Bonds fouled off one pitch to run the count full and then two more to keep the at-bat alive before driving a fastball over the wall in right-center field.

"The pitch was on the outer corner, and he's a great hitter," Proctor said. "He took advantage of it."

Proctor became just the second Yankee -- Ted Lilly was the other, in 2002 -- to surrender a home run to Bonds. He is the 442nd pitcher overall.

"It's a club I'd rather not be a part of, but that's the way it is," Proctor said.

After Mariano Rivera recorded the final out of the ninth inning, locking down his ninth save, Jeter presented Torre with the baseball, commemorating Torre's 2,009th career victory to tie him with Leo Durocher for ninth place on the all-time list.

"Anytime you're in the top 10 of anything, it's pretty impressive," Torre said. "I knew Leo, and obviously he was a championship manager -- he managed that magical club in '51 for the Giants. That means a lot."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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