Alex Rodriguez silenced his critics, if only for a brief moment, when he homered for the 648th time of his career Sunday afternoon.
It was the first time Rodriguez hit a home run since he returned last week from offseason hip surgery and being suspended 211 games for performance-enhancing drug use.
Rodriguez connected on the second pitch of the second inning from Detroit Tiger’s star pitcher Justin Verlander. It was the New York Yankees third baseman's 16th at-bat this season and first long ball since Sept. 14.
Rodriguez is playing while he appeals the ban Major League Baseball handed out as a result of its investigation into the now-closed Florida anti-aging clinic.
When the three-time AL MVP came to the plate to lead off the second he was given a mixed reception that quickly turned into a loud ovation as he sent a soaring fly ball several rows back in left field and rounded the bases.
Earlier in the day, The Daily News reported Rodriguez had sought advice on legal nutritional supplements from the founder of the company at the center of the largest federal criminal investigation into sports doping.
Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative Victor Conte tells the New York newspaper that Rodriguez did not ask him for illegal drugs and they mostly talked about legal products. The 38-year-old slugger and Conte spoke at a meeting in May 2012.
BALCO was the clinic investigated by federal agents that ultimately led to Barry Bonds' conviction on obstruction of justice charges.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.