Davies, the Royals' right-hander, gave up three homers, including two to Mark Teixeira, but none to Rodriguez in a 7-4 win over the Yankees before a sweltering sellout crowd of 48,138 at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.
Davies had asked for a signed ball when he gave up home run No. 500 to Rodriguez here on Aug. 4, 2007. Rodriguez sent Davies a bat with the inscription: "Thanks for being a good sport. Home run No. 500 Alex Rodriguez."
"It's not like you go into a game thinking about it," said Davies, who improved to 5-6 after finally ending a stretch of eight starts over which he was 0-3 with five no-decisions. "When you are out there on the mound and you are young, I'm young, but I've been through it before, you can't let your emotions get in the way. I just tried to make the best pitches I could to him."
Rodriguez had his own version of the day's events.
"Davies did his part," Rodriguez said. "He kept challenging me. He kept pumping his fastball. I love that guy."
While Davies hung on for 5 1/3 innings, he had solid support from an offense that pounded Sergio Mitre, subbing for injured Andy Pettitte, for seven runs on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings. The Royals benefited from some great defense by shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, who may have saved the day with a great play in the fourth, on a diving catch by Rick Ankiel in center in the eighth, and by strong bullpen work by impressive setup man Robinson Tejeda.
"I felt fine," Davies said, admitting that the heat, which was climbing into the mid-90s with oppressive humidity by midgame, did affect his performance. "Early in the game, I felt like a pitcher and in the fourth, fifth and sixth, I was a thrower. I don't know if it was the excitement of the game, but I kind of lost control of my fastball with some bad results. But overall, the first three innings were about as good as I can pitch and in the fourth and fifth, I could have pitched a lot better.
The Royals built a 6-0 lead with two unearned runs in the first, a single run in the third and three runs in the fourth before Teixeira and Jorge Posada hit solo homers in the fourth.
A single and steal by Jason Kendall and a single by Billy Butler produced the Royals' run in the third. Wilson Betemit doubled home one run and Ankiel two more in the fourth. Jose Guillen hit a solo homer in the fifth.
Teixeira's homer was a leadoff shot. It was followed by an infield hit to third by Rodriguez. Robinson Cano hit a hot grounder to Betancourt's left at short. The infielder dove, stretched full out with all of his 5-foot-11 frame, speared the ball and flipped it to second to initiate a double play.
"The play that Betancourt made was amazing,'' Davies said. "It was one of the best plays I've ever seen. He got full extension on it. That's big. It keeps me in that inning and kind of keeps momentum on our side.''
But Davies ran out of gas in the fifth when Teixeira pounded a two-run homer to right that brought the Yanks within 7-4.
Tejeda spelled one-time Yankees reliever Kyle Farnsworth in the seventh and gave up one hit over two innings. Joakim Soria pitched the ninth, but not without a scare, to earn his 27th save.
"Tejeda, he did a great job, Farnsworth too, against one of the best hitting clubs in the league," manager Ned Yost said. "He has done a great job or us. He has done everything that we had hoped he could do on a nightly basis. He's had a blip now and them, but thy have been few and far between."
The game ended on a ground ball to short by Teixeira that Betancourt had to charge and gun to first to get the out final out with two runners on base. Rodriguez was on deck at the time.
"Yeah, I was safe," Teixeira said. "He missed the call and there's nothing you can do about it."
Nothing at all.
Kit Stier is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less