A-Rod passes 2,000 RBIs with homer

A-Rod passes 2,000 RBIs with homer

BALTIMORE -- Alex Rodriguez eclipsed the 2,000 RBI mark on Saturday, joining that select club while circling the bases after slugging a two-run homer off Bud Norris in the sixth inning of the Yankees' 9-4 loss to the Orioles at Camden Yards.

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According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the official statistician of Major League Baseball, Rodriguez's 2,001 RBIs are second only to Hank Aaron (2,297). Because RBIs became an official Major League statistic in 1920, Elias' tally begins at that date.

"It's just nice to be mentioned with some of the greats -- in this case, the great Hank Aaron," Rodriguez said. "RBI is a funny thing; it's such a collaborative statistic and it reminds me of when I was in Seattle back when I was in my early 20s, some of the great teammates and friends I've had over the years. A very unique statistic."

Due to the uncertain nature of record-keeping in the early part of the 20th century, some discrepancies exist between the stats provided today by different historical data providers. For example, MLB.com utilizes different statistics than Elias.

By MLB.com's count, Rodriguez is third on the all-time RBI list behind Aaron (2,297) and Babe Ruth (2,213). MLB.com takes into account RBIs accumulated by Ruth before 1920.

Rodriguez has been busy moving through the record books this season after returning from last year's suspension for performance-enhancing drug use. Earlier this month, Rodriguez moved past Stan Musial (1,949) on the all-time runs scored list.

"The most important thing is for us to get wins," Rodriguez said. "You want to do these things and help the team win. We're in a little bit of a three-game slide here, so that's my main focus. That said, it's like saying, 'Which do you like more of your kids?' They're all pretty special.

"The way you win games historically has been by scoring runs, so I would say RBI and runs scored are the two most important to help the team win."

The homer, Rodriguez's 12th of the season and the 666th of his career, was also the 2,995th hit of his career, moving him within five of becoming the 29th player in Major League history with 3,000 career hits. Derek Jeter was the most recent player to achieve the milestone, doing so in 2011.

"I wake up every morning trying to get my body ready to play," Rodriguez said. "I'm 39 now, and it's a lot harder now than when I was 29. Just trying to help the team win any way I can. I don't think about it much these days."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.