A-Rod hype doesn't sway Jays' pitchers

A-Rod hype doesn't sway Jays' pitchers

NEW YORK -- The Yankee Stadium stands have been filled with camera flashes over the past two days during every at-bat for Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. The Blue Jays' pitchers have not really noticed.

More distracting has been the use of different baseballs in preparation of Rodriguez's 600th career home run.

"It'd be a lot easier to put it out of your mind if they didn't have to give you a new ball every time," said Brandon Morrow, who started for the Jays on Monday.

In the first inning on Wednesday, Jays starter Shaun Marcum surrendered Rodriguez's milestone blast -- a two-run shot to center field. With that home run, Rodriguez joined Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr. and Sammy Sosa as the only players with at least 600 homers in their careers.

Morrow did not think that allowing A-Rod's 600th blast would be any worse than surrendering any other home run for the Blue Jays' pitchers.

"I don't really think it's that big of a deal," Morrow said. "I don't know if you could tell me who Bonds hit his 600th off or Sammy Sosa a couple years ago. They used the Sammy Sosa ball in the same situation. I don't think anybody really remembers, so it just ends up being another home run."

Including his home run off Marcum, Rodriguez has launched 51 home runs in his career against the Blue Jays. That ties the most home runs A-Rod has belted against an American League East team; he also has 51 against the Orioles.