A-Rod hit by pitch, misses out on 600th homer

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez was disappointed that he failed to hit his milestone 600th home run in front of home fans on Sunday but happy to have escaped serious injury after getting hit by a pitch.

Rodriguez had a last chance to share the moment with the Yankee Stadium crowd when he came to bat in the eighth with bases loaded against Kansas City Royals reliever Blake Wood.

Wood came up and in with a fastball, and the ball grazed Rodriguez's forearm and struck the top of the slugger's left hand, sending him to the ground.

Rodriguez, bidding to become the seventh player in Major League Baseball to reach the 600 mark, left the game accompanied by a trainer.

He later told reporters he was not badly hurt.

"I have pretty much full strength, so I should be OK," said Rodriguez, who went 2-for-4 in the game with three RBIs in New York's 12-6 victory.

"I was more fearful of the ball coming toward my face or the hand, which is so sensitive. It's very easy to break a bone or chip a bone. I'm just very glad that didn't happen."

Rodriguez, 34, was striving to hit the milestone home run in Sunday's last game of the Yankees' recent homestand. They begin a seven-game road trip on Monday in Cleveland.

Despite a two-and-a-half hour rain delay in the middle of the game, much of the capacity crowd stayed in hope of seeing the 600th.

"That was amazing," Rodriguez said.

"I'm just disappointed we couldn't share the moment together. More importantly, hopefully some of those fans will come back in October (playoffs) and we'll give them some real moments. That's what it's all about anyway."

(Reporting by Larry Fine; Editing by Ian Ransom)