ST. PETERSBURG -- Alex Rodriguez helped the Yankees set a new franchise record for home runs in a single season, punctuating the final day of the campaign by sending two homers over the wall in the sixth inning at Tropicana Field on Sunday.
Later in the inning, Rodriguez hit a grand slam, pulling even with Mark McGwire for eighth place on the all-time list with No. 583. The drive also gave Rodriguez 30 homers and 100 RBIs in a season that started late for the slugger due to hip surgery. Rodriguez's seven RBIs in the sixth inning set an American League record.
Rodriguez first connected on a high fastball from Rays starter Wade Davis, sending the offering into the third row of the left-center-field bleachers for his 29th home run of the season, giving the Yankees a 3-2 lead and a Major League-leading 243rd homer of the season, which surpassed a club mark set in 2004. In that season, New York hit 242 roundtrippers, Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield sharing the team lead with 36 long balls each.
New York has homered in 127 of its 162 games this season, including 73 of its 81 games at Yankee Stadium. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Yankees have not finished a season with the most home runs in the Major Leagues outright since 1961, when Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle paced the offense.
With five players contributing at least 25 home runs each -- Mark Teixeira (39), Rodriguez (30), Hideki Matsui (28), Nick Swisher (28) and Robinson Cano (25) -- New York has reached the 200-homer plateau for the ninth time this decade, having also achieved it from 2000-07.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.