Rodriguez's five RBIs Saturday vaulted him past the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera for the Major League lead with 97 this season. Cabrera, who will go head-to-head with the Yankees this week in the Bronx, entered play on Sunday with 94 RBIs.
"I'm not shocked," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "His approach with runners on has been tremendous. Sometimes people can get too caught up in home runs. We look at production and what he's done, and he's been great."
After Saturday's performance, Rodriguez deviated from a set of responses he has been giving for months, acknowledging that "it's been frustrating" to endure an inability to hit home runs at his regular pace this season.
Rodriguez said his 46 at-bat homerless streak between homers No. 599 and 600 was "really a microcosm of what's happened all year. I've been able to drive in runs and hit some doubles here and there, but overall, I've hit for no power."
That certainly wasn't the case on Saturday, as Rodriguez celebrated his fourth career three-homer game, having last achieved the feat on May 26, 2005, against the Angels.
"Everyone acts like he's hitting .220 and he's got 38 RBIs," Girardi said. "He's on pace to drive in about 140 runs, so I'm not complaining. ... Alex has high expectations of himself, and that's what you want players to have. I'd be more concerned if he didn't have the RBIs."
Rodriguez's three homers Saturday combined to travel an estimated 1,270 feet, and he became the fifth Yankees player all-time to record at least two games of three or more homers, joining Lou Gehrig (four), Joe DiMaggio (three), Tony Lazzeri (two) and Bobby Murcer (two).